Sunday, September 20, 2009

Finding Balance

I hit bottom last week. It snuck up on me. I told myself was doing well. Moving forward, taking charge of my life. Making plans, working hard. Keeping busy.

Too busy. Because Wednesday night, when I was too tired to move, and too anxious to sleep, my thoughts became quite muddled. I give up. It doesn't matter what I do or don't do. I am tired of working so hard and feeling so much pain. I was lonely and afraid.

Long story short, the good news is I woke up the next morning. But I had to face the fact that I'm not okay. I have given myself some very good advice in previous blog posts. But many things are easier said than done.

A long time ago, I read a book by Richard Swenson called Margin. He defined margin as "the space that once existed between ourselves and our limits," and explained the difference between overload and margin. "Overload is not having time to finish the book you are reading on stress. Margin is having time to read it twice. Overload is fatigue. Margin is energy. Overload is red ink. Margin is back ink. Overload is hurry. Margin is calm. Overload is anxiety. Margin is security. Overload is the disease of our time. Margin is the cure." Clearly, I am in a state of overload. I have no margin. What can I do to correct that?

First, I need to be more realistic about what I can accomplish in any given day. Although it is important for me to have a plan in order to accomplish the long-term goals I have set for myself on top of meeting my job and family responsibilities, I also need time to think and dream and stumble and discover and go with the flow. So I must allow for that in my daily schedule. So that I won't feel guilty and call myself lazy if I decide to spend an hour knitting and watching a rerun of "What Not To Wear." Or doing absolutely nothing.

Also, according to Dr. Swenson, of the four areas in which we need margin - emotional energy, physical energy, time and finances - emotional energy is the most important. I need to examine all four of them, but right now, my emotional energy is all but used up. So why do I keep squandering what little there is left? Talking to brick walls and driving down the same dead-end roads? Instead, I must focus on family and friends that feed my spirit, engage in activities that do the same, and say no to the everybody and everything else. And MEAN it.

It isn't easy, finding balance in the wake of disaster. But I am getting there.

1 comment:

Carley said...

This is just some thoughts for you from your almost 70 year old mother, for whatever it's worth, that has been traveling this road of "life" filled with all the crossroads, bumps, curves, collapsed bridges, dead end signs, health issues, sudden deaths of 2 sons, my father, and of course the natural types deaths of my mother & other loved ones near & dear to me. Many times I have felt in the "depths of despair" and would temporarily forget (satan likes that) that Jesus was faithful and still walking by my side and that I was not alone. I now not only feel, but I know this life is just a preparation for our "eternal life" which is really the one that matters most since it makes every test & hurdle that we have to overcome in this life pale in comparison to the eternal joy & happiness that we will know by putting Jesus first in this life and with prayer and trust in Him He will help us make the best decisions we can in this life. No one is perfect and anyone that expects perfection will never find it in themselves or others since this is why Jesus had to suffer & die on the cross.
I'm praying for you to find peace and I know you will if you just bag up all your troubles and leave them at the foot of the cross. Jesus is faithful and can sort out the good from the bad in our lives if we just pray and totally trust Him to guide our steps.(the word- totally- has always been the difficult part for me to not try & pick up some of the baggage again)
I love you and I am praying for you to just pour your heart out to God and give Him full control of your life and give you a peace that surpasses all human understanding. I've been there & I know He can & will do that for you.