January 9, 2010

It's a Balancing Act

"Part of Accidental Increase is the ability to properly balance work and family, drive and relaxation, sense and nonsense. The ability to do this without thought can be even more rewarding" (Accidental Increase, Steven Sisler)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7)

I did not get out of bed until 1:30pm today. It's rather nice to say that in some ways, as not everyone can sleep in that late without being sick and bed-ridden. But the fact that I slept in so late, in context with my sleep schedule for the last six days, shows that my life is currently quite unbalanced. I spent the last week of my life going to bed at 1 or 2 in the morning, and getting up at 6 so I could have my hour of devotion time (which has naturally become an hour of sleeping along to worship music--although every day I have put up a blog post and feel that I have spent my time fairly well).

But to sleep only 4-5 hours a night is not healthy for me. I know that by how exhausted I was every day at work, and how my glands seemed to be starting a tell-tale swelling by Friday. By God's Grace and some vitamin C I may be able to avoid getting sick, but that's exactly the point. I am clearly not balancing myself well if I'm constantly trying to avoid illness.

So, to the quotes I have listed above. Everyone on earth is trying to survive, to live a life well-lived, and most of us (ok I'm speaking only about Americans because that's what I know) are trying to "get ahead" in some way. But how do we do that? What does "get ahead" really mean? In  many cases, getting ahead means working 60-hour weeks for no additional pay but the hopes of advancement, and missing out on family time along the way.

But a balanced life is one in which we have taken stock of ourselves, our committments and obligations, and made some wise choices about how much time we will give to each of them. And then following through.

I'm still woefully behind in that department. But I have to ask myself, if this Accidental Increase book is right, then I might do better to focus all of my energies on getting work done in the time allotted (as much as possible) and then shifting all of my thoughts and cares to the next aspect of my life, such as getting a good workout, and then shifting again to my personal time and my writing, and then--here's the important part--going to bed at a reasonable hour in accordance with when I have to get up the next day.

Those are all really hard things to focus on, but I'm going to try. I went to a friend's house last night for the first time in I don't know how long, and I realized that I've been grossly neglecting my social life. I spend so much time during the day talking to people at work that I just want to go home and be by myself most nights, and yet I miss out on the opportunity to develop relationships outside of work, to have people who care about me be a bigger part of my life.

So that is my goal for this next week (for the rest of my life, really) to start to take stock of my life, of what I must do and what I desire to do, and find some balance, and the self-control to keep my life balanced. Because no matter what gets thrown at me, the only thing that can really throw me off... is me.

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