So I have a vision board that I seem to keep forgetting about. First it got shoved behind my desk, then in a closet . . . and finally I propped it up on my bathroom counter. There I at least see it a few times a day.
The other day I noticed a phrase I'd pieced together from words clipped from a magazine: "I'm a better wife, mother, friend when I run, yoga, sleep." And then it hit me that I couldn't remember the last time I ran, did yoga or got a decent night's sleep.
That night I decided that things needed to change. I'd gotten in the bad habit of staying up late to work . . . and the even less productive habit of staying up later to watch TV as my reward for finishing my work. On the nights I didn't have to work, I took those extra hours I'd gotten used to having to plow through my "to do" list. Surprisingly, I didn't seem to get any more accomplished, but I did get into a perpetual state of crankiness - and I didn't like it.
So a few weeks ago, I made it my goal to get into bed by 10PM every night. Of course, I failed miserably, but I did make it by 11PM most nights - and what a difference it has made. Within a week, I felt like an entirely new person. I was enjoying my time with the kids and getting frustrated with them less often. And to my surprise, I was actually able to accomplish more during the day than I had been staying up until the wee hours!
Working my way up the list of things that keep me sane, I contemplated running and yoga. I was due to start running again to train for the 2010 Goofy Challenge (running the half marathon on Saturday and full marathon on Sunday during Disney Marathon Weekend in January). To be honest, I was dreading it - mostly because the training coincides with my busy season (starting school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Noah's birthday, Christmas - oh my!) I was getting stressed out just thinking about squeezing in three runs a week - so I decided that the best way running could help me right now was by opting out. I never "not do" things I commit to, so stepping down was a big deal. But once I made the decision, I knew it was the right one.
As for working out to relieve stress, dance is where my passion lies right now, so that's where I plan to focus. I've put together a realistic schedule that allows me to dance every day and fit in some strength training and yoga workouts during the kids "quiet time" during the day.
Turns out that the secret to finding balance was right in front of me this whole time. I'm glad my eyes are finally open to see it.