Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On Finding Balance.

I'm not sure if you know this but I do a lot of things. Now, I never said that I do any singular one of them really well or better than another, but indeed, I do lots. For instance and just to name a few, I wife. I mom. I write. I educate. I photograph. On a good day, I clean. 

As of late, I have found that there are days, many, many days rather, when I tend to do them in the wrong order. In other words, my priorities are way off. And it took listening to this guy speak at Blissdom to really figure that all out. 

I know I'm not the only Mom that heard his words and immediately thought, "Holy shit. He's speaking directly to me. How did he know?" 

For me? Hearing Jon Acuff speak was my hinge moment. More specifically, hearing him say things like, "Learn to disappoint the right people," and "Hang up and arrive. Be present in your family," really knocked my socks off. 

Sitting here writing a post on finding balance while my house is a disaster and I'm still wearing my pajamas at 1pm may as well denote me the Queen of Irony but I couldn't waste another minute without freeing these thoughts from my head. 

I can easily count on both hands and feet the number of times that I've "shhhsh'd" The Toddler as he pulled at my pant leg or climbed up onto my desk while I was trying to bang out that oh-so-important blog post. You know the one. The one about crafting that ruffled burlap wreath or my thoughts on dressing your belly bump.

Those posts were so important to me that I was stealing time and focus away from my 19 month old. From the 19 month old who was practically bursting at the seams to show me how he finally stacked his blocks into the tallest tower he ever made. Or how he learned to zoom his remote control car all by himself. 

Heck, I could name at least 15 incidences when I told him, "one more minute" when I actually should have said, "one more tweet." 

Ouch. 

Since when had that stuff become more important to me than spending time with my son? Why have I allowed Twitter, blogging and The Internets to monopolize the waking hours with my toddler that we all know are so fleeting? I mean, I've even dedicated whole posts to how fleeting those moments are! And here I am shhhsh'ing them.  

Of course my next question immediately was, "How do I fix this?" How do I find that balance that I know must exist out there? And the answer is simple. 

Make time for the things that matter. 

All of that stuff that I mentioned earlier? That stuff that I do? That all matters. Obviously it does considering I'm here as a wife, a mom, a writer and a photographer. And I learned that none of those things should or do matter any less than the other. But it's how I make time for them that does. 

Just because I'm a mom doesn't mean I can't write. Just because I am a wife doesn't mean I can't photograph. I just need to learn to do them with the right amount of balance. 

Jon encouraged us to "be selfish with that 5am hour that no one in your family wants." And to not "steal the moments from your family." And it was practically a face-to-palm moment. Why hadn't I thought of this sooner?

Perhaps because the thought of waking up at 5am makes me want to gouge my eyeballs out. 

But I've chosen not to let my kid become my content. I've chosen to hang up and arrive. It will always be a work in progress but I find myself feeling even more fulfilled at just making the decision to be present in the right moments at the right time. 

For me, that is what finding balance is all about. Being present in the right moments at the right time. 

I've been home from Blissdom for two days now and I've been making a concerted effort not to blog while The Toddler is awake. To tweet less and to not tweet ridiculous and random tidbits of my life.

Having glanced at my Twitter profile I noted that in a little over one year I had tweeted 20,866 things. How many of them were profound and life changing? I'd venture to say roughly 7. 

Talk about a hinge moment. 


54 comments :

  1. A to the men woman, amen. Seriously I do get up at 5:30-6 and get my shower, some times a work out, or blogging in before KP gets up at 7-8. It sucks but that's really the only chance I have because the evenings, after she goes to bed? Those times are for J and that's no time to blog either.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this post and struggle with the balance myself. It's difficult to work all day, come home and dedicate yourself solely to your child when you "just need a moment to yourself!!!!" But, you're right, balance is the key and I'm glad I read this today and will keep it in the forefront of my mind when I get home from work and see my daughter.

    ~Laura

    ReplyDelete
  3. LOVE THIS!

    Friend, this is why I've been so absent from blogging and Twitter lately. I want to be there, but I was missing out on my sweet baby turning into a girl! I won't get back those mornings I let her 9 month old self hold her own morning bottle while I pounded out another blog post...and now I'm sad that I traded those final moments for whatever it was I thought I was getting in return.

    Now she takes more work, more thought, MORE planning, and I'm trying to sneak in the time to run regularly...something had to go.

    I'm not quitting, but of all my hobbies, this is the one that takes the most time, so this is the one that has to go on the backburner for a while. Maybe it means 1 post a week instead of 3-4. Maybe it means disappearing from Twitter for weeks at a time. I never want Kitty to think that the computer or my phone were more important than she is - and I can already feel my days with her slipping away like water through my fingers!

    Keep the revelations coming, sistah! So excited to hear everything you learned!

    ReplyDelete
  4. My favorite post of yours hands down. I incorporated this 5 am rule a while back... and I love it. My day is so much smoother and I am so much happier. I also incorporated the "no blogging rule during toddler wake hours" a while back.... and its been such a big stress off my shoulders. I only blog at night after baby goes to bed, or "5 am."

    So worth it!!

    Thanks for such a great read early this morning :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm excited to hear more about what everyone learned. Right now this isn't my particular struggle, only because Nate is gone & I blog/tweet mostly when the kiddos are asleep. When he gets home though? You may never hear from me again. Kidding, but really, it will be much less tweeting from me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. WOW!! That is most definitely an "ah ha" moment as Oprah would say!! You have always inspired me in more ways than you will ever know probably, but I need to thank you for posting this because you have made me realize that I too need to savor the moments at home with the girls and be much less concerned about social media or social anything for that matter- I am insanely proud of you for waking up at the hour you and I haven't seen in quite some time!! And with this comment know that you are a phenomenal mother, wife and friend and that we all appreciate the dedication you have for your loyals!! Love ya!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I struggle with this too. As I sit here holding a sick baby - I can think of 50 things I need to do. Why can't I just sit and take in this time snuggling my very active kiddo? Why am I seriously about to LMS because I need a break so desperately? I haven't even gotten a blog post written in days - but I still can't keep up. I'm not even sleeping well anymore - ugh!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love this. Technology has made it so hard to escape the internet & I have a major problem being on my iphone all. the. time.

    My kid deserves a fun mom to play with, not a mom who spends too much time on twitter, blogs, and facebook.

    Thanks for this. I needed a reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love when people speak and it feels like it hit you right in your heart. That has happened to me more than once and I really do appreciate those times.

    I can't even imagine how I'm going to balance things when I'm a mom especially when sleep is really important to me. I guess I'll have to throw that importance out the window.

    I think just the fact that you're noticing this makes you a really awesome mom :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great post. A reminder I needed to hear.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You rock this mommyhood thing, girl!

    But I had a reminder of Jon's words yesterday as I attempted to video T, he looked at me and said "no mommy, peezz!" My heart sunk realizing I was wasting our time together trying to document it.

    I felt terrible! I think Jon could be family counselor! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. You rock this mommyhood thing, girl!

    But I had a reminder of Jon's words yesterday as I attempted to video T, he looked at me and said "no mommy, peezz!" My heart sunk realizing I was wasting our time together trying to document it.

    I felt terrible! I think Jon could be family counselor! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Let's try this again ha!

    I can not tell you how true this is or how beautifully written this is ;).

    The Bliss Chicks meant it when they said it will feel like Jon is talking right.to.you.

    I didn't realize how much time I really spent on Twitter or on Social Media until he said those things. Now we take time for us and time for recharging.

    Great post! I hope people listen and take something from it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is completely profound.

    I'm not a mom - just putting it out there right now - but I can identify. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to tweet, instagram, and post to facebook when I was away for the weekend with my husband 2 weeks ago. There were a lot of tweetable moments, not the least of which being the flowers which were waiting on the table at the uber fancy restaurant he reserved for us.

    Did I post a photo of those flowers to instagram, with a tweet & FB update? Did I tweet about the obnoxious people at our table when we went to the smorgasbord, or the super great deals I found while outlet shopping, or the fact that we were spending an evening watching a dvd in our room because we're just that cool? No.

    Why? Because it would have broken the moment. How often am I too busy capturing a moment so I can share it with strangers to actually live in the moment?

    I've made a vow this year to spend more time actually living with my husband than living next to him, phone in hand. It hurts sometimes, I'm not gonna lie. You have no idea how badly I wanted to brag on those flowers and that restaurant. But I didn't. I made lovey dovey eyes at my husband instead of staring at my phone. ;)

    I, too, came to some startling conclusions as a result of what I heard and learned at Blissdom and plan to share some of it this week - one post is already up, talking about how I burst into sobs during a session. I'm glad I did, even though it was embarassing at the time. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Awesome post. I needed it! Inspired my post today: http://joelandcindyplus2.blogspot.com/2012/02/priorities.html

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've been thinking about this a LOT lately. Logan and I are both addicted to our screentime. We've implemented a new rule...no screens for either of us until after dinner. We've slippes a little already...it's a constant struggle. I am determined to stick to the no blogging during awake hours over spring and summer break. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well said Ashley. Well said.

    I think the 5am plan is pretty good...even though waking at that hour seems ungodly, but just think how much we could get done in those 2 hours before everyone else is up.

    I've been wanting to get up and just read my Bible and start my day off right, but sleep feels SO GOOD...but this might be the answer to that!

    Thanks for always being so open and honest! You truly are an inspiration...and a WONDERFUL MOTHER too!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm right there with you. I just posted something similar today and in fact am taking sometime to get my day restructured the way it needs to be.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I felt the same way about his talk. Like he was directly talking to me. I blog and work from home. I'm often "one more minute" ing my kids.

    It was like a suckerpunch to hear his talk.

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a beautifully written post. I think this is something we all struggle with daily (and, truth be told, probably will continue to do so). While getting up at 5am truly seems like torture maybe it is the best answer. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I know you've heard it probably 47 times today, but...great post. Totally hits home.

    I haven't blogged much lately, well, because I've just been in a funk lately. But, when I do blog, Tweet, or FB, I always think in the back of my mind "why am I doing this right now instead of playing on the floor with my little baby??" Total reality check.

    Awesome post, mama. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. After reading this I did a massive You Tube search trying to find Jon Acuff's speech as I seriously need to hear it. No luck. Any chance you know someone who recorded it on their phone? ;) Seriously though- this is such a worth topic and one close to my heart. I look forward to hearing how you navigate through this as you try and balance everything out. Lord knows I need all the tips I can get!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh why did I ship his book back? I can't wait to read it. Great post. You recapped his presentation perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Such a great post. I was so convicted listening to his keynote -- convicted about all the just waits that I've given my own kids in their lives as well. I'm getting up earlier. I'm in agreement with you.
    And the tweets? Eye-opening.

    Bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Great post! Jon was definitely a highlight of BlissDom. He made me look at my life in a different way.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Loved this....and I loved "Hang up and arrive. Be present in your family" Priceless. I get frustrated when I look over and both my husband and I have our faces staring at various screens and out precious 7 month old is playing...we should be enjoying that time with her...not our electronic devices...

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love your blog but havevonly commented once before and I had to comment on this post. Sometimes you tell yourself to not waste these precious moments but reading/hearing them from someone else can really make you listen. This post is wonderful and it's made me realize I need to put down the iPad and play with my sweet kiddo that's playing on her iPad right next to me! What are we doing here? This is quality time I'm missing and all because I need to pin 1 more thing! Haha thank you, I'm off to go play dolls now! :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Yes, Yes, Yes, YES! When he put up the "pay atenshun" napkin from his daughter - I think the whole room sucked in a collective breath and face palmed.

    So many hinge moments in his speech. Love this post - I've had many of these same thoughts swirling in my head since arriving home.

    SO glad you linked this up, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Love this! Perfect post. I am always criticizing myself for this at the end of almost every day.
    "Being present in the right moments at the right time." Perfect quote!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm so glad you did take the time to write this because I've been wanting to email you and ask you how you do it all.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Great post, I don't know how people do it all. Especially with children, I can barely keep up with my dogs. I think time with our loved ones is way more important than any blog, twitter, facebook although it's nice to zone out in social media. Balance is a daily struggle.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great post. It's so stinkin' hard to find balance, but I can't imagine ever looking back at the end of my life and saying, "Damn! I really wish I'd tweeted more!"

    ReplyDelete
  33. I hate the idea of 5 am as well, but it sure would give us moms more time to do what we do {aka blog}. I love hearing the encouraging things y'all discussed at Blissdom..keep em coming! And good luck finding your balance :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Clearly, so many of us can relate to this. :) I was just telling Shannon last week when I began my Twitter break that I admire her getting up so early each morning for her "me" time. I wish I had that kind of dedication, but the more I see people doing it, I kind of want to try it out. (Who would've thought getting up at 5am would be something you'd get peer-pressured into? Hmm.) Great post, AP. :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. true, true, true!!
    I feel like every activity I do whether its folding laundry, working, or blogging is with a toddler crawling up my leg! While I don't condone giving into letting C climb in my lap all the time I definitely feel guilty waiting til she quits. Its FINDING BALANCE.

    We all need "me" time..I'm just struggling to find mine...not sure if its going to be at 5 am ;)

    hugs and kisses from KY!! when you coming to visit?!?!?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Amen to that sista! This was a great post! And to all us Mommy's, Wife's bloggers, maids, etc....we all do all those things...all the time, I'm sure. So, it's ok!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I totally needed this today. I find myself in the same situation, restarting a cartoon just so I can catch up on blogging or asking for a few more moments in front of the computer. It's sad because my 5 yr old now says "after your done on the computer, can we..." Thank you so much for this!!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Great post!! And you definitely are the only one! There were several times during Jon's keynote speech when I found myself thinking..."that is so me!!" It's definitely hard to find that balance & yeah, getting up at 5am is not exactly what I had in mind, but I know that that balance does exist & I am as determined as you are to find it! It was so nice meet you Ashley! I love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Beautiful words friend. I'm inspired. Balance is hard. I wish I had been at Blissdom to hear such a wonderful speaker.... I'd love to hear more about what he had to say sometime!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Great post AP! You are amazing with words! I enjoyed meeting you so much. You are wonderful on the blog and 10x more wonderful in person! Keep up the awesome work!

    ReplyDelete
  41. You are fabulous. FABULOUS! I struggle with balance, but in this past month I have really been working on it. It is such a daily battle for me, especially because I have an early riser, but I am determined not to give up so this was a wonderful encouragement and reinforcement! Thanks for kicking me in the rear, friend :)
    I am so glad you had such a wonderful and inspiring time at Blissdom! Yeah for you & for us ILYMTC readers!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Uh-may-zing. You put it together so beautifully. I am still absorbing, feeling like I can't quite put my experiences into words-all I learned, heard, and gleaned. You just did it. Yup. I'm in for putting family first.
    xo
    Andee

    ReplyDelete
  43. You are my favorite. I am working on the balance in my life and I love everything that you said!!! Phenomenal post. Everyone needs to read this.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I wrote a whole reply and Blogger ate it! STUPID STUPID STUPID.

    Anyway, balance is important but a struggle for everyone. I certainly struggle with it big time! As much as you and your family need this, I still miss you on Twitter. ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  45. That session was my moment at BlissDom. It was hard to write out my post on the same subject. Really put me in my place!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I've noticed that so many bloggers referred to this very same BlissDom session. I think it speaks to all of us, myself included. Thanks for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  47. What wise words...'Learn to disappoint the right people...'

    Need to take this into account for myself. :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. oh my gosh, i la-la-love this post.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thanks for this fabu recap. Couldn't go to the conference, so I am busily mining gems like YOURS. I do worse than shhh my 2 & 4 yo away. I sometimes yell. Thanks for sharing a much need palm to the face.

    ReplyDelete

As always, thanks so much for reading ILYMTC. If you have any questions about a post or want to get in touch with me (or any of the cast of characters here at ILYMTC) email me at iloveyoumorethancarrots(at)gmail(dot)com.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...