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Locate: Balance

I’m exhausted. I feel like I’ve been stretched as thin as dragonfly wings. Between my regular 9-5, being a single mom, my little independent side job, trying to maintain some sort of social life, and my various volunteer obligations (I just love oxymorons), I feel like Michael Keaton in Multiplicity, without the (dis?)advantage of the actual cloning machine.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m enjoying all of the things that I’m doing. I’m learning new things and meeting new people all the time. But honestly, all I really want to do is lay in bed for about 3 months and dream of intergalactic travel and my alternate life in Atlantis…and eat hot fries, vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and drink wine (yes, it’s that time of the month).

When I lived in Louisville, Kentucky (for a dreadful 15 years), I was always bored because there was nothing to do. Well, I should say there was nothing that I was interested in doing that I hadn’t already done a million times. I wanted to be involved in things, I wanted to live the fast life, always on the go, always meeting new people, acquiring new skills, and making some sort of name for myself. In short, I wanted to feel productive and progressive and engaged. I wanted to feel like life existed outside of work and motherhood. I wanted to feel important.

As soon as I moved to Atlanta, I got my wish. I’ve met some amazing people who are involved in and have introduced me to a million and three different projects that they all seem to handle with ease and no dark under-eye circles. I really don’t know how they do it. Granted, none of them are single-handedly raising a two year old drama queen, but just thinking about some of the things these women do without tiny ones makes me want to crawl under my bed and never come out. But I try to match them as best as I can. And so far, I’m doing okay. Though I have to admit, while I don’t miss Louisville itself, I miss my lazy days spent there walking through the Highlands, hanging out on the great lawn at the Waterfront Park, and staring at the moon and stars from the roof of the Actor’s Theatre building. And it’s not like I can’t do that here, but I don’t.  The energy around me is always moving, always flowing, and I feel like if I don’t keep up I’ll drown…

Why do we do this? What is the deal with this Superwoman Syndrome that way too many of  us suffer from (from which way too many of us suffer? As a copy editor, I should know this. Whatever)? Why is this country so deeply invested in always being busy, always doing something? Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re productive, and being productive doesn’t always give the appearance of being busy. Why don’t we ever take the time to just chill, just be still, to just be? We work ourselves until we’re sick, saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” or “Sleep is for losers,” when the reality is that sufficient sleep is a key factor in optimal health and the more multi-tasking an individual does, the less likely each of those tasks will be done at top-quality level (that’s a statistical fact – I just don’t remember where I read it and I’m too tired to look it up).

So now I’m trying to bring myself to a healthy balance of staying active and involved, and simplifying and minimizing my life. Life is about maximizing time spent on the important things, the things that matter most, not just filling your time with events and activities just because. That’s one of the main reasons why I deleted my Facebook page about two weeks ago. That’s a huge thing for a self-admitted FB addict. But I haven’t missed it and I haven’t looked back. I’m also focusing on the things I love most, like spending time outside with my daughter (I found a lake – YAY!), reading, editing and watching movies. I enjoy my volunteer opportunities, but I won’t be dedicating as much time to them as I was. And the socializing will be cut to a drastic minimum. No parties unless I really need to get out and shake something; and focus will be on strengthening the bonds I’ve created since I’ve moved here, as opposed to trying to create new bonds. At least for now. Eventually, when my heart is ready, I’d like to make sure I have quality time for my future wife (Meshell Ndegeocello – if you’re reading this, I’m talking to you, honey), and of course, and maybe most important, time to eat ice cream in bed and dream of intergalactic travel and my alternate life in Atlantis.

How do you maintain balance in your life?

Have you ever felt the need to do more than you already do?

Do you find it hard to say no to people who require your time or other resources?

What is one way you could simplify your life right now?

Blog By Nitra

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2 comments on “Locate: Balance

  1. Your blog is wonderful and you express what I hear from many young women including my 3 daughters. I wish you luck with the balance and I look forward to reading more from you. I invite you to visit my blog.

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