Balancing Act

Between my 9-5 day job, doing some kind of movement 15-20 hours a week (taking pole class, taking circus classes, teaching classes, teaching privates), dinners and drinks with friends, blogging, running errands, getting massages/acupuncture to keep my body from running down, and eating, I have almost no time left for me… Or for my boyfriend! We work and live together, but that doesn’t mean that he wants to see me at the end of my night every night, when I’m already tired and sweaty and sleepy. He’s super great about never complaining when I book myself solid with other activities, and he wants me to do whatever makes me happy… but to be honest, I want to spend time with my boyfriend! But I want to do all this other stuff too! And I never seem to have enough time in a day to do it all.

It’s a real battle to keep a life in balance. I have a real tendency to book myself up completely solid, until I’m running from one day to the next and downing Clif bars on the run. Every once in a while, when I stare at my calendar and get overwhelmed by how little free time I have a month from now– well, I have to remind myself of what my priorities are, and think carefully about whether or not I want to cancel or move some stuff around.

For instance, recently the boyfriend and I decided to put “Mandatory Date Nights” into play, thanks to great suggestions from some friends. With two people who have busy schedules, it can be a real juggling act to remember what is going on in both our lives on any given day or weekend. Setting aside one night every week (no excuses!) to have a date forces you to slow down, enjoy each others’ company, and keep the romance and relationship healthy and strong.

I’ve been limiting myself to one circus class a week because I really want to accomplish my personal pole goals for the summer. Already I’ve started making progress: I’ve already done one class full of superman practice (ouch) and one class where I did everything just on my weaker side. I feel good and responsible! While I love the challenge of other classes, pole was my first true love and if I spend a lot of time away from the apparatus, I miss it. Not necessarily the tricks, but the dance and the release. So, I make it a point to go to a class at least once a month where I can really just dance it out.

Luckily, a lot of my closest friends are ladies that also enjoy circus or pole classes, so I can make plans to take class with them and then have dinners or drinks afterwards. It makes it a lot easier to make sure to spend time with them on a regular basis and it makes class that much more fun. I don’t have to choose between circus/pole and friend time, because I can combine the two!

We all have a finite amount of time. Your priorities may vary from week to week, depending on what aspect of your life needs a little more invested time. But don’t let yourself get too caught up in the grind to forget about the bigger picture. Stay true to what you want out of the short and long term, and think about what you as a person really need to stay balanced and happy in all aspects of life. It’s not about trying to catch up or keep from missing out– it’s about making your life one that you really want to live. If you need to schedule in time for yourself sitting at home watching all the bad reality TV that is saved up on your TV, then do that! If you know that you need to vent to one particular friend every two weeks or you turn into Bitchy McBitcherson, then do that! And if there are demands on your time that you fulfill out of obligation and guilt instead of joy and genuine desire, then re-evaluate them and see if you can minimize them.

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Tomorrow’s post is our first installment of Tuesday Tips! Come back to check it out and feel free to post requests in the comments…