Boundaries, Not Balance

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

A few weeks ago, I finished a long, grueling summer camp season. Of all the things I do for my job, summer camps are not only the most time consuming, but they aren't even part of my salary position. In 14 days of camp/camp preparation, I arrive to work at 6:30 am and leave around 10:00 pm while averaging 8.6 miles of walking per day. My phone rings off the hook and it's not uncommon for me to look in my inbox and see 70+ emails. Once camps ended, Josh and I took a quick four day trip to Maine and then came back to get ready for volleyball and football season.

In short, I have not had a lot of time to myself lately. I'm trying desperately to get back on a routine of scheduled meals, workouts, reading, and prayer time. It's amazing what you can forget. I literally forgot how to get up in the morning and not run around like a crazy person trying to get out the door. I forgot how to sit down and eat a meal. I forgot how to do a body weight workout. Around day ten of relearning intentionality, I posted this on Instagram.

𝙱𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍𝚊𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚜>𝙱𝚊𝚕𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝚂𝚎𝚊𝚜𝚘𝚗𝚜>𝚂𝚊𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚎𝚜𝚜 . I’d like to take this opportunity to formally renounce the idea of “balance” and all things associated (work/life balance, social/spouse balance, balanced diet, etc). My #unpopularopinion is that balance is a fallacy. Balance sounds like ✘ there is a magic formula to copying and pasting each day’s schedule onto the next ✘ you’ll adequately satisfy every category every day— sleep, nutrition, work, family, fitness, finances, prayer, friends, marriage, and cleaning. ✘ all things should naturally flow into the day’s demands; therefore, yes to all. Here’s the truth, 𝓵𝓲𝓯𝓮 𝓲𝓼 𝓼𝓮𝓪𝓼𝓸𝓷𝓪𝓵. What got you where you are today, won’t get you where you need to go tomorrow because seasons change. So.... instead of balance... let’s talk boundaries. Balance says yes, boundaries say no. Boundaries sound like ✓ I’m planning for when things change. ✓ Because balance doesn’t truly exist, I will NOT try to adequately touch every category every day. Instead I will be present in my current season so I can be present for the next as well. ✓ All things do not flow into the day’s daily demands; therefore, my season will be determined by my ᵈʳᵘᵐʳᵒˡˡ ᵖˡᵉᵃˢᵉ 𝗣𝗥𝗜𝗢𝗥𝗜𝗧𝗜𝗘𝗦!! Also known as the things that are important to 🄼🄴! . Taking charge of your life means planning for certain things to take more of your attention than others... without apology! Whether you’re vacationing in the Caribbean or burning the midnight oil at your job, there are no regrets if it’s the right season. Don’t “get ahead” on work the days you could come home early to be with family, don’t get caught getting behind because your downtime is excessive, or in my case, don’t watch The Inredibles for the 15th time when you could be reading @brenebrown. Set a boundary for things that don’t belong in the season you’re in right now and build that fire next winter. #sameislame . . . #freetosayno #seasonsoflife #boundaries #workingmoms #fitness #growthmindset #grindszn #gainszn #mentalhealthawareness #priorities #stayfocused #leadership

I got a lot of feedback from this one. It obviously resonated with a lot of people, but I think the real blessing was that someone finally said it-- balance is a lie. Especially for us mamas, balance is a word that is easily used for shame. If you can't meditate, workout, feed and wash your children, get to work on time, eat three healthy meals, and get your inbox to zero in a day's time, you must be doing something wrong. Even if all of that could be achieved in one day, a day like that is not repeatable.