24 hours, 1,440 minutes, and 86,400 seconds....all in one day. We all have the same amount of seconds in a day than everyone on earth. How do you spend them? We sleep away 1/3 of our life, on average, so that's 8 hours right there off the table. For people who work full time, such as me, there's another 8 hours gone from my day to use how I please. That leaves me with 8 hours for leisure. Most times, a mere 8 hours is not enough time to accomplish what I'd like to. Between the gym (if I decide to go), meetings, best friend, boyfriend, sponsee, dog, laundry, prayer, and finally some downtime in front of the tv, it's important that I find balance in my life. I obviously can't juggle all of these things in the same day. I wish I was superwoman, but I'm not. Not only is it overwhelming to think about all those things, but I know that self preservation and emotional balance are number one to me. And obviously my recovery. When Sam isn't 100%, her world can't be either.
Like I had mentioned before in a previous post, once I got sober, I finally had freedom to do stuff. I wasn't chained to the radius of my small town and I finally had some money that didn't go up my nose all the time. I thought I lived an exciting life when I was out partying. I was always drinking on the weekends, going to the clubs in Philly or seeing concerts. Addiction aside, I didn't have any sort of balance when it came to work and personal life. I had no balance when it came to relationships and friendships. When I gave up that lifestyle, I felt like life was going to be boring. I really only couldn't do the things I was used to. A year later, I found a whole slew of other things to keep me busy. Healthy things. Things that fulfilled me in a way that drugs and alcohol never ever could.
It may sound like I go from 0-100 from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed. In reality, I don't. I would not be a happy camper at all. Life becomes unbalanced when we don't put our "me time" in front of other things. It's healthy to decide when we can't meet a friend for coffee because we need to catch up on sleep. It's okay to reschedule plans because we just aren't feeling up to it. We are all busy people. We get burnt out. For me, I try to make realistic promises and commitments, that way I don't let people down. I'm not saying it's okay to bail on the important stuff, but we have to listen to our bodies and mind. Tonight for example, I hit the gym, went food shopping, did wash, cooked dinner, folded wash, and finally sat down to write this post. I didn't even take my shoes off until 9pm. I accepted that I wasn't going to get to a meeting tonight, so I'll hit one tomorrow. I can't overwhelm myself. When I do, I focus on what I didn't do rather than what I did. It's a much more productive feeling to look at the things I did accomplish.
The root of my recovery is my involvement in AA. That is my program of choice. Since service work is so important to me, I had to learn how to balance chair/coffee commitments and sponsorship of other women. I would love to help everyone but it's not fair to them to be unable to devote the time they may need. It's about being self aware. I do know some people who run, run, run all day jumping from meetings to sponsees to more meetings and other commitments. I respect that hustle whole heartedly. I know for me, I also need to balance my home life. My quality time with my best friend and niece fills me up as well. Spending time with my boyfriend helps me decompress and relax. Finding time for ourselves help make us available mentally to help others.
Life shouldn't be a juggling act. Finding the right balance is crucial! We will go crazy taking on too many things on at once. Sometimes I get super lazy and stay in my pj's all day on a Saturday and watch Lifetime movies. I'm totally cool with that. A good, wholesome life isn't measured by your paycheck or how many friends you have. It's measured by the amount of people's lives you've touched and how great you felt doing it. Balance is definitely not something you find one day. It's something you create, something that makes life successful in such an intangible way. At the end of each day, practice by telling yourself that "you did the best you could. If you didn't get everything done, there's always tomorrow, and I love you anyway."
by Sam Pav