Friday, May 1, 2020

May 01, 2020 0

Rock Bottom--or a Solid Foundation to Rebuild Your Life?

It has been a tough couple of years for me personally.  It literally seemed that every single time I thought that things couldn't possibly get worse--they did.  Sometimes things became A LOT worse.  That downward spiral, for me, began in the fall of 2018. My health landed me in critical care in the hospital.  My marriage was on the rocks. My husband's company closed his division--leaving him unemployed unexpectedly. My daughters were all facing personal, physical and health challenges that affected so many areas of my own life.
I thought I hit rock bottom SO many times during 2018 and 2019! 

Then.  

Along Came 2020.  

January was tiring.  My father-in-law nearly died a few days before Christmas in 2019.  He spent most of January in the intensive care units of a hospital a couple of hours drive away from us.  My husband made many drives to the hospital over that month.

In February, my mother passed away.  My father-in-law passed away as well.  On the same day.  
Let that sink in for a moment!  
My husband and I each lost a parent on the same day--within hours of each other. 
 My daughters lost two grandparents on the same day.  

Grief is a crazy thing.  It was a tough time.  

We all thought that we had hit rock bottom.

Then.

Along Came COVID-19.

In March, everything stopped/changed/transformed into a new isolated state of normal.

April felt like a bad, dystopian movie.  

My husband kept his job--but, his commissions were certainly challenged.

I own my business.  My clients, many international ones, disappeared for most of the month.  

My 8th grade daughter lost all of her activities immediately.  Club soccer stopped.  Acting classes and auditions stopped.  Her class Washington D.C. trip cancelled.  She was chosen to represent at the Ohio Model UN Conference--and it was cancelled.  The gifted camp that she was accepted to was cancelled.  The classes that she worked so hard to earn A's moved online and became pass/fail graded.  The library where she volunteered as a tutor for ESL students closed.  She is isolated from her best friends and teachers and coaches.

My 11th grade daughter lost all of her activities immediately.  Her track season stopped.  Modeling and acting auditions dried up.  She takes classes at Ohio State University.  Those classes moved online and the workload quadrupled.  Her hours at her part time job were reduced to a few hours per week.  The HOSA state competition that she qualified for with a presentation was cancelled.  National Honor Society events and Global Scholar events were cancelled.  Prom was cancelled.  Graduation was cancelled as we know it for so many of her friends.  She spent most days working on classwork--with only virtual contact with friends and her boyfriend.

 So far, 2020 has hit hard--with a lot of punches!

But.

Instead of seeing this new low as a life delaying, rock-bottom pit to dwell in--we have to see this as a temporary place.  This is an opportunity.  

An opportunity to reflect.  An opportunity to plan.  An opportunity to change.

This may be rock bottom--but, it is a great place to lay a new foundation and rebuild your life.

Piece by Piece.

Remember--

Thursday, April 30, 2020

April 30, 2020 0

What is a Balanced Life?

Today, I am sitting here after almost a month of having our usual normal life turned upside down by COVID-19 and statewide stay at home orders. I have had a month to reorganize the flows of my family's lives into something managed from home. It was initially a culture shock to see everyone's lives, activities, and habits come to such an abrupt halt. When I began this post a month ago, I was still trying to balance 8,000 of life's balls in the air! Health, work, family life, relationships, home responsibilities, goals, and dreams all seemed to be different puzzles with 1000 puzzle pieces each--with each piece from each puzzle fighting to fit into all of the other puzzles of my life. For much of my life, it has been impossible to find any balance with all of these pieces rolling and bouncing and fighting for my attention at the same time. After a month of adjusting to a temporary, new normal state of existence as a family--I have had even more puzzles and pieces thrown into my balancing act.

What is a balanced life?  


If I had finished this post a month ago, would my answer have been very different than my thoughts this morning? A month ago, I would have said that a balanced life means working a little on each area of my life--every day, every week, every month--to reach my goals and dreams for each of those areas.

What are my thoughts about balance today?  

I realize that my definition of a balanced life is the same. A balanced life, to me, is a life that lets me find peace and contentment in each area of my life--knowing that I set goals and action plans into place and work on those areas piece by piece to find that peace of mind. A balanced life still means working a little on each area of my life.  Every day, every week, every month--to reach my goals and dreams for each of those areas.

What changed over this month?  

While I still have the same vision of a balanced life--the pieces and priorities of that balance have changed. For example, I had images of how my ideal home would look. As I spent a month existing mostly at home--with my family living/working/surviving from home full-time as well--we began to use spaces differently. My visions for my ideal home began to change. The same happened with my health, my relationships, my career goals--and even my bucket list.

My balanced life puzzle is still composed of multiple puzzles with 1000's of pieces--but my life's many puzzles look a little different than they did a month ago.

My visions for the various areas of my life have changed.

I am refocusing my vision for my life--and I am ready to begin to balance my life, balance the peace of my life with every piece of the various puzzles that need to come together to form my overall completed puzzle of life!

That is what this site is all about. 

Balancing Life and Balancing Peace--Piece by Piece.