Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others using them. Thomas Kinkade

Today is Writer’s Group. A friend and I spend half a day with likeminded people discussing all things – about writing. Getting paid for our writing is one of the things we are discussing today.

On Thursday a fellow Toastmaster and I were discussing how being in Toastmasters is like having another family of people supporting us, our ambitions, growth, and dreams.

There is power in belonging to groups. One of the pitfalls is becoming so enmeshed in the group we forget about the family waiting for us. The group energizes us, so we have more to give our family.

We are pulled in different directions. Balance is the key, balance is hard. The key to our life is keeping all our balls in the air, and that takes balance. I don’t think life is so fun if we put all our energy into our social life and don’t give energy to our family life. If we have no one to share our successes with they won’t feel like such big successes.

If we spend all our time with our families none of our outside dreams come true. We feel we didn’t accomplish our dreams, we didn’t venture outside, and we didn’t reach our potential. We aren’t all we “could” be.

One of the things I hate more than anything else is waiting for people. If we have a busy day, and we want to fit some time in with our husband or wife we should schedule it before we leave. Then they know they can go about their business and meet us somewhere or be back home at the appointed time.

I grew up without a phone, people would drop in. I don’t mind people dropping in. What I mind is if they tell us they might drop in, and we wait all day, get something prepared for them, and they don’t even drop in. Dropping in by definition is not planned. Either drop in or schedule something. Am I alone on this?

Problems arise in that one has to find a balance between what people need form you and what you need for yourself. Jessye Norman

My husband and I usually go out for coffee. My friend and I who are attending the Writers Group like to chat. We can talk away an afternoon, sitting in the car outside her house. I’ve made a date with my husband for coffee this afternoon. She and I can talk, but we have a deadline. Balance isn’t that hard if we are willing to schedule, make plans, set deadlines, and say no to activities that start to infringe on family time.

Last month I could have gone bowling and then lunch after my Writers Group, with Toastmaster buddies. I declined thinking that was too much to fit into my Saturday.

It is easy when we work from home to let work take over all areas of our life. It has at times totally consumed ours. We set work hours; we don’t answer the phone before or after work hours. We don’t take business calls or have appointments on the weekend. If we don’t set the limits, there are none. Some clients will say, “You can call me anytime.” Some businesses require you to be on call 24/7, ours does not.

It may not be easy to figure out where we need to bring balance into our lives. Bringing that balance into our lives may be even harder. It is worth doing, what seems balanced now, may not seem balanced in the future.

If we work with, live with, and are married to someone we need to take their needs, wants, expectations, and desires into consideration. Building a life that works for everyone is the goal. Will it be perfect, not likely? Is it tweakable? Tweaking is likely to be required as we go through life.

Are there areas in our life that need to be balanced? Is it time to spring clean our life, our schedules, and figure out the important from the urgent “what consumes our time but isn’t really important in the grand scheme of things?”

 The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it. Anonymous

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