Oh, life balance. Why do you elude me?

This is not me...because I am not a mannequin. But I do wish I had a purse like that.
This is not me…because I am not a mannequin. But I do wish I had a purse like that.

Because seriously, I am trying. This journey to badassery is just one piece of the somewhat absurd juggling act I call my life.

I’ve been trying to determine what it looks like to me to create balance with respect to my fitness journey, especially in the last few months following a little eye opening ” incident” I had.

Let me take you back to October…Sunday, October 14, to be exact.

I was at dance crew rehearsal, just shy of a week short of our first performance. I was definitely anxious about the performance, what with all my monumental “fat girl on the stage” fears.

As we were talking about expectations for the day of the performance–when to arrive, how everything would flow, etc.–Karin mentioned that we shouldn’t train on the day of the show. And then I did something I’m not proud of.

I kinda flipped out.

In my head, I frantically ran through my week’s schedule, trying to figure out when I would fit in a fifth training session if not Saturday morning, and coming up with nothing. The resulting panic I started to experience, and the way I behaved because of it, kind of embarrasses me now.

In a shrill voice, I questioned Karin. “Why? Why can’t I train in the morning? It’s hours and hours before the show! Why can’t I? When will I work out otherwise?”

Even as I sit here typing, recalling the way I interrogated my beloved trainer and friend in such a crazy and desperate way, I’m cringing.

I went on to alternate between anger and mounting panic for the rest of the rehearsal. I didn’t have any fun at rehearsal that night, which is just plain stupid, because dance crew rehearsal is my one thing that I do just for me because it brings me joy. That night, I wasted it.

This, my friends, is not indicative of balance.


Yes, I want and need to be committed to a consistent training schedule. But panicking, freaking out, and generally acting like a big fat crazyass because one week I trained four times instead of five? Not cool.

Balance in all aspects of my life is a huge issue for me. I am passionate about so many things, but struggle to find that perfect mix. And, as you may already have realized if you’re a regular reader of this blog, I ask a lot of myself, so that kinda adds to the pressure.

On any given day, there are a gazillion and one demands and questions vying for attention in my oft-addled brain. Here’s a sample, just off the top of my head:

  • Am I eating too much? Am I eating enough? Am I eating the right foods? I know they’re not the right foods, but why the hell are nachos and Oreos so delicious? I mean, really?
  • Why is my house such a disaster? Will I ever be able to keep it regularly clean? Or possibly afford a housekeeper?
  • How can I be a better mom/wife/sister/friend/daughter/member of my church community/co-worker/human being? Am I raising good kids? Am I making a difference for my family/in the community/in the world?
  • Seriously, why does my daughter throw her shit all over the house? (Oh, I think I just answered my second question…)
  • I wish I didn’t have so many commitments.
  • I wish I didn’t have so many pets. Wait, that’s a lie. I really do like my pets, but GOD, there are just so MANY of them!
  • Maybe I’ll ask my co-worker to train me in Photoshop. That would be a good skill.
  • Shit, I have to make a dentist appointment. I freakin hate the dentist.
  • Oh, that reminds me that my son needs braces. Better get those in the budget.
  • Did I turn the damned crock pot on this morning?
  • Did I pay the cable bill yet? Didn’t we say we were going to drop to basic and get rid of our land line? Are we still doing that?
  • Did I work out hard enough today? I felt like I was dying, and I kinda still do, but now I’m wondering if I could have done more.
  • How can I better support my husband at his new job?
  • Speaking of my husband, we haven’t had a date night in like forever. I wonder if I can get a sitter this weekend. Oh, wait, we can’t this weekend. Next weekend? Nope, not gonna work either. UGH!
  • Oh, hell, the hamper is overflowing again.
  • Am I stunting my children’s social lives by not making more playdates? Should I examine the possibility that I don’t make more playdates simply because of my utter loathing of the word “playdate”? Oh, God, I’m a terrible mother.
  • I should call my dad today.
  • I should call my mom today.
  • How can I be more organized? How can I teach my kids to be more organized?
  • Maybe I should start a Pinterest page for the Fit Fat Girl.
  • Maybe I’ll just watch Castle now.
  • Maybe I’ll clean up a little.
  • No, I really should be working!
  • Sonofabitch, I forgot to send the wrapped shoe box with a hole cut in the top for my daughter’s class Valentines. Along with additional materials for her to decorate it with. Why was that supposed to be in TODAY when Valentine’s Day is more than a week from now?!? Now she also needs 2 bags of mini marshmallows and “a hundred of something” by Friday. BLURG!

I definitely could have gone on for awhile, but I’ll spare you more of my madness. I’m pretty sure you get the point, and it’s definitely NOT that I have ADD. What I do have is a set of overly high expectations for myself and a very full plate…just like most of the awesome women I know. (Holla if you feel me!)

So this journey to badassery is a lifestyle–a lifestyle of doing the best I can with what I have where I am. And the fitness piece of the journey is just one aspect for me–a very important aspect, but just one.

If there are weeks when I can only work out four times, it’s not going to make or break anything. It just is.

If there are weeks when my nutrition is not optimal because of life madness or bad choices, ok. I’ll pick up and move on.

If the house isn’t “drop-by visitor ready” at every moment, so be it. (Please don’t drop by. Like, ever. I need at least 1 hours’ notice before any visitors arrive.)

This is life, peeps. And I’ve gotta make sure I’m actually LIVING it, not just enslaving myself to some absurd set of standards I’ve created in my head.

Balance, Daniel-san.

So going back to my no-workout-on-performance-day freakout…in the end, it was no big thang that I missed a workout on the day of the performance. (Duh, the outcome any reasonable person could have expected.)

In fact, by the end of the day, I had no recollection of even being concerned about missing a workout. I was on a total high from the performance itself…and the amazing unexpected outcome was my six-year-old daughter’s undying admiration after seeing me out on that dance floor. She was absolutely amazed and awed, and couldn’t believe that her mom was so cool (and neither could I, to be honest!) THAT was way better than any workout.

So I may forget stuff, I may not always have time for everything I want to do, and sometimes I may have to change my expectations.

I may teeter and stumble along this tightrope walk that I call my life’s journey.

I am far from perfect.

But as I struggle to meet all of my obligations, check off my to-dos, and work towards my goals, I must remember to enjoy it.

I can’t get caught up in the details when life offers me a chance to just live.

And I’m pretty sure THAT’s my definition of balance.




7 thoughts on “Tightrope

  1. Steph, get out of my head! Seriously, I love your insights. Your honesty and your ability to put the daily struggles of this balancing act that is being a working mom in this day and age never cease to amaze me. :o)

    • Thanks, Lilia! I’m glad this one resonated. It is such a constant battle, and so easy to forget to live life amidst all the “getting and doing” that comes with having kids and having some stuff for myself beyond the kids, too. We gotta keep at it, though! 😉

  2. I think we’re twins except that i need a few days notice if you’re coming over. Oh & I need to get my workouts in so I’m not wasting money by not getting them in; though of course I really do need all of the workouts for fitness sake as well. Don’t feel like you’re alone because I think everyone of those things as well. We do the best that we can & move on.

  3. Well said – loved this! This post is EXACTLY what I’m thinking/feeling – your to-do list literally mimics mine right down to the valentines day mailbox, overflowing hamper, guilt over not enough playdates and just wanting to veg with Richard Castle. My goal is to say no more and not let my Catholic guilt get the best of me. ;o)

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