Here I sit 2 days shy of the two year anniversary of my husband's death. I am happy. My kids are happy, I watch them laugh and carry-on and I take credit for that. I feel like it's been my job to teach them that it is okay to be happy and yet still grieve at the same time. It's balance.
Balance was something that came to me while I was enjoying my quiet house today (something which I NEVER thought I would enjoy), I still struggle with finding the balance. It is something that shifts everyday and it's not always grief or happiness that sits at either end of the balance beam. It is just life.
Demands placed on us everyday from different aspects, the wants, the needs and the fulfillment of those make balance a difficult thing to find. There are certain areas of my life that have drastically changed over the last 2 years, I have learned to re-prioritize to help find the balance I need.
For awhile, I struggled to find the balance between getting up everyday and taking care of the kids and not spending all of my day crying, screaming or just being angry. I was trying to manage work, kids, house, dogs, etc...it was all too much. I lost so many things the day my husband died, the list would be endless, I tried to be all those things I shared with him. I tried to keep things as normal as I could for the kids and I, needless to say, all I did was stress myself out.
The stressed-out me made some changes, I learned to establish the difference between wants and needs. What we "have" to do versus what we "want" to do and what "really needs" to be done. I think the best example I can give is that my house does not need to be museum quality clean everyday but doing something for myself does. It's hard as a mom/wife/girlfriend to do things for ourselves and not feel guilty. I'm not talking about an all day "time for myself", just an hour or so and it doesn't matter when. It is important to plan the time so that it doesn't go wasted on Facebook or talking to a friend on the phone (unless that time is planned! ;)). I know I have found that a lot of our time goes wasted, I can be really good at it. Which brings me back to balance, a good plan for the day, factoring a little time for ourselves and counting our blessings can make that walk across the beam a little easier.
Today, I am making my to-do list and prioritizing it. I know that I have some planned gym-time in my future and I am counting that as my "me" time. I have learned that my to-do list does not have to be a mile long and if it is, I need to be sure to keep it in balance with my real expectations.
I feel like I got a re-do on life. I've learned so much about myself and others. I have a whole new appreciation for the little things and not being so controlling. I've learned to let things go. It's tough to find the balance for appreciating life and the grief of losing someone. I'm not saying I'm always at my best, I try my best. I am a very clear "work-in-progress" woman with that walk across the balance beam getting easier everyday.