Do you ever feel like you’re unicycling on a tightrope, while juggling five flaming torches and being chased by a tightrope master with a laser gun? I do! Life is balancing and juggling and trying to keep everyone alive, all at the same time, all the time. I’m tired, and I bet you are too.
Sometimes balance and sanity seem like a mirage—a wonderful and beautiful thing that’s always just beyond my reach. Recently, my life felt like that, and I felt like I was going to lose my mind—which made me think that I must not be doing life God’s way. After all, His Word has things to say about life:
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”1
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”2
In Exodus, God uses Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, to tell him that he will wear out if he tries to do everything.3 Of course, if Moses was like me, he probably thought that’s easier said than done. The first thing I had to realize is that to properly juggle, you sometimes have to let go of some of the balls.
Let me share a few tips that have helped me gain a little hope for a less frazzled future.
1) Learn what a “healthy you” needs to thrive. For me, that means getting enough sleep, working out a few times a week, getting some quiet time with God on a daily basis, and having a bit of quality me-time. If I cut any of these things out too often, I pay the price.
2) Choose progress over perfection. If you want a balanced life, you have to let go of the idea that everything and everyone and every situation and every event needs to be perfect all the time.
3) Allot some time each week for nagging tasks. These are the little things like paying a bill, calling the bank, organizing the shoe cabinet—that pile up in my brain and cause me anxiety and frustration, because I can’t possibly get to all of them. But now I set aside two hours each week to knock out as many of these tasks as possible. The rest wait for the next window of time, but I know I don’t need to worry about them because their time will come.
While there are countless books written on the topic of a balanced life, these tips changed my life and have made that tightrope much less scary.
1. Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV
2. Matthew 11:28 NIV
3. See Exodus 18:17.