This post is part of a series titled, “A-B-Cs – What It’s Really Like”. Each week a new letter and its word will be revealed. Each word’s explanation will illustrate significant personal meaning, application and ultimately demonstrate, What It’s Really Like…
Previously, I posted about the importance and delicate understanding of checking and balancing responsibilities in a working marriage. Like balance in a marriage, personal balance is often underestimated, overlooked and difficult to achieve. The words “under” and “over” do not necessarily indicate desired balance especially when filling a tire with air, cooking chicken or landing an airplane. My wife would probably tell you that one of my big character flaws is the fact that I am oversensitive when it comes to attention to detail. One would think that a person with this trait would likely have no problem achieving balance. False – here is why: First, a person with hyper focus on an immediate task may temporarily ignore other responsibilities in order to make satisfactory order of the situation at hand. This process continues because it becomes part of a routine as the hyper focused individual earns satisfaction by completing items at his/her terms. This could also be why my wife makes fun of my super detailed to-do lists and insists the only reason that I make them is to feel good about crossing several items off. Just the other day she told me she was afraid that if I did not write down, “Pick Little B up at daycare” on the day it was my turn that I would likely forget. Let’s break it down into simpler terms: a person with a balance issue generally does not know that they have a problem until it becomes major. Much like an inner ear issue that messes up your equilibrium, you may not know you have the problem until you fall flat on your face.
I sat down the other day and made myself a short list of things that I consider to be currently unbalanced in my life. The list consists of areas that I either over-indulge or under-serve. Here is what I came up with:
OVER: Diet, TV, social media, negativity, spending $, SHARING
UNDER: Exercise, family/partner/me time, faith, reading, writing, caring words, saving $
Everyone has always heard that the key to a balanced lifestyle begins with a healthy regiment of diet and exercise. I don’t dispute the claim; I just have really lame excuses to why my will is weak in either category. For starters, it is extremely difficult to eat healthy when you are at a ball field numerous nights a week several hours after the dinner hour. Although a very good idea at the time for space and convenience purposes, locating the treadmill in our bedroom was the best/worst idea my wife and I could have had. The upside – it is near a shower and a change of clothes. The downside – it is the first thing I look at when I wake up in the morning (exhausted) and the last thing I look at when I go to sleep at night (also exhausted).
Maybe the two worst habits I have after a long day is routinely eating my meal and settling down in front of the TV or my phone to check news, sports, and social media. Instead of unwinding I plug right back in. This behavior yields short conversation and limited attention span toward the important aspects of life that are unfolding right in front of my eyes. I usually find myself scrolling through news updates on my phone while my son watches his evening TV shows before bed. I’m not much into watching Curious George plant a garden for the 101st time. Rather than sitting next to my son and enjoying his company, I become distracted by my phone. I knew I had a problem one night after I came home late from a baseball game. I snuck into Little B’s room to kiss him good night only to discover something very alarming. His very large toddler frame was sprawled across his new twin bed and all of a sudden he did not look little anymore. How did this happen so quickly? It immediately dawned on me. As quick as you can refresh a social media timeline, my son was growing up. Since this time I have tried my best to keep my phone away until long after he has retired to bed for the evening.
“Sharing. When does it stop?” – quote from the recent Taco Bell “Sharing Sucks” commercial. I laughed when I saw this spot because it reminded me of the trouble I get into with my wife when I reveal something to others before her. As my wife, her “right to know” priority is number one. Whether it is from absentmindedness or that I assume she already knows everything that is going on in my life, I on occasion share information with others that she often hears for the first time when I am describing it to another party. Subjects generally range from work, coaching, or large future plans. I am most guilty of this practice with my parents. Often my wife will hear me disclose information on the phone with my parents that she has never heard before. I would never do this intentionally and I have acknowledged I need to do a better job at being a better communicator.
So how are these things recalibrated and set in balance? Try thinking backwards by under indulging and over serving. I believe striving to place emphasis on family, health, and happiness are measures that are never mistaken in ensuring personal balance.Add to favorites
This really hit close to home, Brody. I like the idea of thinking backwards – because when you begin with the end in mind, it makes the journey a little easier to navigate. I too spend a lot of time on social media and do my best to put it away when my son is around. Thank you for sharing your thoughts – you are not alone!