How do you keep your life balanced and remain peaceful? For me (Jasmine), it’s scheduling.
I love planning each week out on Sunday afternoons. Looking at my calendar helps me to see if I need to shift things around so it doesn’t get too busy. It’s also helpful to see visually on a calendar if our activities are varied and balanced. I ask myself, “Are there enough active and outdoor activities?” “Do the kids have enough playdates and outlets for creativity?” “Will I be productive with business?” “Will we have purposeful family time?” “Are there opportunities this week to give to others with acts of kindness?” “Is there enough time allotted for grocery shopping and cooking?”
I didn’t do this growing up. I was a “yes person.” I added as much as possible to my calendar… if I could squeeze it in, it was there. Life was overpacked and tightly scheduled… literally minute by minute.
One of my friends challenged me on this and said I need to incorporate margins in my life. What are margins, you might ask as I did? They are blocks of time that act as buffer zones between activities. I finally agreed with him. Up to that point, I was able to keep the ball moving, but if it dropped, everything would crumble. There’s was no room for error within that tight schedule.
Having kids was actually the best way for me to fully learn this. Most parents can relate that getting the whole family out the door could take an extra hour than originally anticipated. Margins became even more essential! Miraculously I’ve learned to be early now (sometimes!) Since we’ve incorporated an hour buffer time per activity, we are sometimes early if all goes well, other times we are on time, and still are times when we are late.
In general, I walk with much more peace because I create a schedule for myself that allows for a train to cross the tracks on our route and delay us 10minutes, or a second diaper change right after the baby is fully dressed and strapped in the car seat, or a meltdown from the toddler… things happen. Instead of being taken by surprise and stressed from those events, I plan them into the day through margins.
Other ways that are helpful to bring balance to my life are daily exercise, reading, listening to music or podcasts and praying.
I’m curious to know how you balance your life and what things bring your peace? Please share in the comments below.