In this month's #TheWriteLifeBalance, Susan Meier talks about finding the time to pursue your passions...
And that takes us to balance…
I know you probably think it took us a while to get here, LOL, but you can’t be balanced if you harbor unforgiveness, jealousy or bitterness in your life, or if you want to be first all the time – at everything. You also can’t be balanced if you’re not yourself.
Did you ever stop to think about how much energy it takes to try to pretend to be somebody you’re not?
Trust me. I’ve tried to be thin and all I did was think about eating. I’ve tried being sophisticated and spent all my time quiet and unhappy.
So, real balance begins with figuring out who you are and giving yourself permission to be that person. But let me give you one caution. Most of us weren’t born to lie on the sofa and eat donuts all day while we talk back to the guests on Ellen, The View or The Talk. We were born to do something.
Oddly, though, sometimes the thing you were born to do isn’t how you make your living. Some of us will perpetually have day jobs. Even if your purpose is to raise great kids, you might still have to work at the local pharmacy, bank or convenience store to get the money for their shoes.
Separating how you make your living from who you are can be very liberating. If you’re a struggling writer, your mouth probably just fell open as the truth of that hit you. Anybody who has a day job trades eight hours a day, five days a week for money. If you keep that in perspective, the day job doesn’t have to steal your soul.
That means you have to carve out time for your purpose. Think about it. Time with kids doesn’t fall into your lap. You have to move a thing or two (and by that I mean your shower or the time you might have cleaned the den) to get that time.
The same is true with your passion. Before I could support myself as a writer, I was so desperate to tell stories that I found all kinds of time to write. I would wake 2 hours early and write before I dressed for work. Or I would stay awake after everyone else went to bed and write then. I sacrificed sleep for the time to fulfill my purpose.
Passion – whether it’s being a great mom, a great artist, a great friend, a great athlete – is a gift. You can waste it by always saying, “I’ll get to my passion/purpose someday.” Or you can honestly look for the time to indulge it.
Which takes us back to balance. You can’t neglect your kids. You can’t constantly miss work. You can’t sit on the sofa watching TV and promise you’ll do it tomorrow.
You must be honest. You must be thoughtful. Being an artist, good mom, athlete, friend of the year shouldn’t be denied. And, really, if you do a bit of shifting and moving, everything does fit. In fact, next month I’m going to give you a few tips for how to make everything fit.
Susan's latest book, The Boss's Fake Fiancee, is out now. For more information about her and her writing, check out her website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Are you good at making time to get things done? Or are you always looking for another hour or two? Tell us in the comments or use #WriteLifeBalance on Social Media to join the #PHS discussion on this subject.