Friday, October 15, 2010

Time and Balance

So I have to be completely honest with everyone and say, that I thought I was doing something wrong in struggling so incredibly much with balance in my life.  No joke.  The main reason could have possibly been that, for so many years, I put my job and life built around my job at the for front.  When I first started working full time, a few days a week after work Julie & I would go to aerobics together.  Then, as things progressed, I worked more than 40 hours a week, after work we'd all (a group of 4 of us from the office) go down the road to Damien's for happy hour (when we'd make it) or dinner - or both.  Sometimes we'd all go to Julie's house and we'd make dinner and watch TV together.  We used to go to Stockton on Tuesday nights for dinner & drinks at El Torrito, followed by Pepper's oh so popular hip hop class in Sacramento.  We traveled on the weekends, and sometimes hung out the night we got home...I spent very little time at home; I basically just slept there.  I completely eliminated friends outside of work and family from my life, by virtue of wrapping up after work hours with the same group of people. 

Now, don't get me wrong: I love those I was hanging out with, so it's not like I was being forced :) time went on and I realized that things weren't changing, and my nieces and nephews were getting older, I was missing time with family and missing milestones in their lives and the lives of my friends.  (do you hear my violin playin:) ?!).

2 years before my dad passed away, he suffered from a heart attack in Israel.  Many of you know that this was the beginning of my turning point.  We got word on Saturday, and Tuesday at 5 AM I was on my way to him.  When we returned, I began to take time off from work to attend all of his Dr's appointments.  This way, he couldn't keep any Dr info from us, and we didn't have to rely on my mom to let us know (since the language barrier on top of medical jargon lead to very little understanding on her behalf - but she did try, bless her heart:) ).  I couldn't believe I was 'taking so much time off' for the appointments.  I would schedule my own Dr appts after work hours so that it didn't conflict with my day.  (I was am nutty, what can I say)  I started to ask for, not just wait for the day to come, where I didn't have to travel much; not work too much on the weekends.  My dad would always say to me, "Connie, why do you work so much?"  I never really had an answer for him; I just always felt that I HAD to.  I felt it was expected of me; required of me. ...and at that point, it was the only way I knew to be at work.

Starting to be around everyone, it was like I was getting to know everyone all over again.  Well, I had missed out on quite a bit, so I spent much of my time catching up with cousins and whomever I'd see.

In the past 4 years, my focus has been to achieve balance in my life.  I wanted a family life.  I wanted friends in my life that I hadn't been around in so long; just caught up in an email, or over Thanksgiving/Christmas weekends when everyone comes back in to town.  I realized that I had to take better control of my time in order to achieve it; things weren't going to shift just because that's what my heart wanted.  I had to make intentional decisions.  

In March, when I went part time, I was so naive.  I thought I could just bounce back in to people's lives like nothing :)  You know, all this time I hadn't been around, my friends have built their lives with other friends in them that were actually able to be around for things.  So while I'm trying to get to see/talk with everyone on a regular basis, they still see me as a 'once in a while' friend.  "OK Lord, I get it." I tell myself as I sadly come to this realization about once a month (yes, still...just realized this again last week).  I also thought relationships would magically become bonded and I'd have people that I'd begin to get together with regularly, now that I 'have time'.  Yeah, it doesn't work that way either. 

WOW - can we say 'therapy time'?!  I started this blog to share with you 2 messages that I caught on Focus on the Family earlier this week.  They are about balance.  I wanted to share a little bit of my story to just say it's easy to become and stay out of balance, and it's hard to get back.  But, as you can see, these are issues that I'm still struggling with.  I generally tend to hold my emotions in, and share them only in writing - so there you are; the lucky ones that actually come here and get to read about them :).  

Balance is so important.  Not only is it something most people desire in their lives, but it's God's desire for our lives as well.  We need to live in community, and how can we when we're always 'too busy'?!  I'm here to tell you - time and precious moments with those you love will not fall in to your lap - you need to be aware and make conscious decisions to include them in your lives.  

OK.  enough :) 

Check out these messages to hear a professional's message :)  
Message 1
Message 2

I hope I haven't discouraged anyone from listening!  He talks about all different things...and if you ever want to get together for coffee/lunch/chat time - you know I'm up for it ;)



pick me, pick me!!:
I wanna do lunch!
I can SO relate.
I have been convicted this past week about my time.
I spend alot of time investing in other peoples lives outside of my family, when i reality, MY kids need me more and my first obligation is to them.
And above that, my time should be spent with the Lord...
i'm pretty out of balance.seriously.
pray for me and I'll pray for you.:)

NANI said...

you know your comments about trying to get back with friends.. and all is so true. When we moved to Alaska for 3 year.s.. and then came back to Modesto.. all of our old friends had new friends. You think you are going to just get right back to the way you were and NO, there are other people and things going on in their lives and they don't need you like they did anymore. Not that they weren't still our friends. Just different than before. but they had replaced us because we were gone. ;(
It is a strange feeling. I think Ty felt that too when he first moved back to Modesto from Oregon. You will find a new balance.. having a first child always changes lots of thing s and makes your life so very different. :) not in a bad way .:)
LOVE YOU and your messages. I need better balance too. I imagine we all do. :) Hugs.. to you 3.

Aunt Nell said...

I totally understand how you are feeling. I have come to realize God puts people in our lives for a time and a season. At first it was hard for me to see friends come and go...I, personally, felt like once a friend, always a friend. I tried to make time for everyone...but when others dont have time for me, its hard. Or we make appointments to get together and then it never happens. Its hard...and Im going through friend withdrawls right now too...obviously because Im so far away..

Anyway. Not to ramble on but I know how you feel about balance. I have been praying for you and Tyler and your balance with eachother, Emma, life, family and God!! I would too, like to have coffee, lunch, hang out time as well...maybe in Feb/March when I come! :) <3 you girl. Keep hanging in there. God is good.