This week in the Lounge, we are talking about finding time to run and finding ways to balance running with the rest of life's demands. Like many of you, I am a mom, an employee, a sister, a friend, a wife, a soccer coach (albeit not a good one), a mentor, a mentee, a volunteer, a cheerleader at my kids events, a Lounger, a fill in teacher for my kids homework, a blogger, a rehab patient (for my knee), a pet owner, a maid and cook, a home owner.....and a runner.
This spring has been one of the busiest springs we have had yet. Finding time to run has been a struggle. I spend a great deal of time staring at the family calendar and in negotiations with my husband to find a free block of time to run. If you follow along in my personal blog, Once Upon A Run, you know it is a common theme at the end of most posts that I am off to stare at the calendar to find time to fit in the next run.
And while I don't wish my current schedule on anyone, I am somewhat thankful that this perfect storm of events happened. Why? Because it tested my will and desire to run. It also tested my personal philosophy of what is important in my life. And it also retaught me a lesson about balance - yet again. Here is what I learned:
Balance isn't about having it all or getting it all done. That would be perfection. There is not enough time or money available to achieve perfection in my life.
Balance is about getting just enough of things that matter most and letting go of the things that don't. Balance is wisdom and disciplined execution of your life's most precious priorities.
And like physical balance, it requires work and lots of practice before it happens.
To get ready for my half marathon this April, I made the decision that the only way to get in long runs was to do it at 3:00 on Fridays. No matter what. And at 2:30 each Friday, I waged a mental battle with myself with all the things I should do besides run (work, kids activities, spending time with my family, work, grocery shopping, work, work, work...). It took all my strength and an incredible amount of discipline to put aside my other more pressing responsibilities and stay true to my personal philosophy. It meant that some things went undone. Or I wasn't as prepared as I hoped. Or my husband had to pick up even more of the load at home. Or things at home didn't get done (they way I like).
During the act of balancing running with life, it felt hard and I constantly wondered if I was making the right decisions. But now that the half marathon is successfully behind me, it is easier to see the lessons I mentioned above.
Balance is wisdom and disclipined execution of your life's most precious priorities. Balance isn't doing it all.