There is so much talk about work-life balance. It’s everywhere and I think that sometimes all this talk about what I call the illusion of balance can be really damaging. I say the illusion because with social media, it really is just that. An illusion. We’re all guilty of it and it’s fine. But I think it’s sometimes helpful to remember that it is indeed an illusion – even when someone is keeping it real. I was inspired to write this post after a friend asked how I balance everything. I responded on Instagram (see below) but also wanted to write a bit more in a blog post. this post contains an affiliate link.
I want to start off by talking a bit about the illusion and then I’ll move on the reality. First, the illusion. Social media is such a small portrayal of actual life. I’ll take myself for an example. On most days, I post 3 pictures to Instagram. One is always a bible verse. If I’ve run that day, that is usually my second picture. And the third could be anything – food, Sasha pics, random stuff, whatever. My point in sharing this is that the 3 pictures represent SUCH a small portion of my day and my life. They are pretty representative of who I am and what I’m about – but it’s just 3 pictures. And, they are 3 pictures that I CHOSE to share. Again, I’m honest on social media but I’m not going to share a picture of myself crying after I watch This is Us (or any commercial about dads and daughters – I’m a daddy’s girl, can’t help it). I’m probably not going to share the picture of my tasty dinner that looks really weird because of the light. I try to share things that are interesting or fun or relevant. But – 3 pictures a day is not a lot, y’all. So, yes, it is a bit of an illusion because it’s not the full picture. It’s a snapshot of life – and that’s okay as long as everyone remembers that. There are so many things that happen in life. I think it would be odd if every single thing you experienced in your life could be strung together by your Instagram posts.
Someone asked me how I balance everything I have going on in my life. I thought it was a great question – I’m going to write a blog post on the topic soon. But in short, the answer is I don’t. I’m usually killing it in about 4 areas and barely hanging on in 2. The ratio changes often, sometimes daily, and I accept that. For example, I didn’t run a tempo run today because I’m still uncomfortable going to my trail in the dark alone in the mornings.Sometimes I can wait to start running until the sun comes up and just get to work a little later, but today I had an early appointment. So I punted it and thought I’d run after work. Then I got home and realized I have to wash clothes, pack for an upcoming trip and I was still answering work emails. I decided to give myself grace. I cracked open a beer and changed into sweats. Not perfect but it’s okay because I know tomorrow I’ll be right back out there killing it on the pavement. In the meantime, I’m killing it in the clean house front & the work front & the nice wife & good dog mommy front. I’ll take that and be happy with it. #grace #realtalk
As I said on Instagram, the reality is that you can have “it all” but you probably can’t have it all at the same time. At least that is my reality. I try to give myself (and others) grace about my failure to be able to do it “all.” I mean, life is busy and sometimes hard. If you don’t give yourself some grace, it’s almost impossible to make it through.
In a somewhat related note, I’m just about to start a new book that deals with this concept – Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less. I read an interview with the author and really enjoyed her perspective so I bought the book. I’ll definitely share my thoughts over on Instagram once I finish!
How do you handle the pressure to do it all?