Why is it so hard for us to seek balance in our lives? We are constantly being bombarded with messages about how we need to seek balance. That we need to create a work/life balance. That we should be eating a balanced diet. That our bank account balance is too low (okay, perhaps this is something different). Yes, we should address all of these things, but the issue is that the idea of balance isn't what we think it is.
If you can I'd like you to stand on one foot, or at least just shift your weight to one foot. If you can't just imagine along with me. Okay, I'm on one foot you are saying, so let's look at what is happening. Unless you are falling over you are in balance. If you put your foot down you are again in balance. When you lift up your foot everything shifts. Your shoulders go in the opposite direction to keep your center of gravity. Your hips change position. Your muscles change how they are holding you. Yet both states are in balance. .
The key here is counterbalance. We lift our foot the rest of our body creates counterbalance for us. With our biomechanics this is natural. But when we try to apply this concept to our lives it is a little trickery. We don't naturally counter balance our lives. We let things go overboard and fall out of balance. .
Part of the reason for this is that not everything is equal. I try to split chores with my wife fairly equally (although I'll readily admit she often does more of the work), but how do you split chores equally. How many changed dirty diapers equals doing the dishes? There is just no way to equate all these things and balance out our workloads. And once you add in the aspect of time it all completely goes out the window. The same is true in our lives. How many meetings equals a dance recital? It is a ridiculous question to even consider. .
When we are seeking balance, what we are really doing is trying to make sure that we aren't neglecting any one area of our life. When making commitments weigh how they are going to effect the other areas of your life. Make time for your values and prioritize that time. Seek counterbalance rather than simply creating balance.