Hi, ladies! My name is Laurel Donahoo and I am a born-and-raised Mississippi girl who works part time at a local design firm doing social media, part time as a blogger, seasonally as a freelance writer, and full time as a wife and mommy to my most favorite people in the world! It is an honor to have the opportunity to contribute to the blog over here at The Source today! I love this organization and fully believe in what they are doing for the women of Mississippi!
When mind-scrolling through potential topics for today’s post, I decided to write on something that I constantly think about and, if I was a betting woman, might guess that many of you deal with something similar.
My topic is rhythm.
Not balance, but rhythm.
When people talk about finding work/life balance, I totally get what they’re talking about. But then I start to think, “why balance?”
When I think about balance, I think about everything having to be *just* right for balance to be achieved. A hair too much here, or just a shade under over there, and balance is completely thrown off. And if you and I are anything alike, we all know that nothing is ever perfectly even on every side. And if it is, it isn’t for long. Which is okay!
We were all created to go through seasons. That’s just the way it is. Seasons for easy, and seasons for hard. For fun and for hard work. For joy and for sorrow. For family and for office. C’est la vie! But why not give rhythm a try? Higher, lower. Higher, lower. Busyness, rest. Busyness, rest. Rhythm is actually peaceful!
When trying to achieve rhythm in life, of which work plays a major role, it is important for us to realize that seasons are natural, and we should embrace them. There, of course, will be times when it’s a busy season at work. I know the build up to April 15th affects many. The weeks leading up to a printed piece going to press can be a stressful time for a publisher. The holidays are a wild time for those in retail.
There will be other times when it’s a busy season at home. It’s tournament season for your kid, and y’all are traveling every weekend. You’re on the committee for a charity event that is taking up every spare minute of your time. You’re learning how to create a new normal after the birth of a baby or, on the flip side, the loss of a family member.
Whatever the situation, we have to remember to keep a rhythm. We’ve gotta ebb and flow with the seasons. We have to remember to stay focused on something bigger than work and family to have true purpose. We have to take time to recharge. We have to give our all in whatever seasons we find ourselves. But we also have to remember that we can’t go 100% all of the time in every area of life.
Here are some practical ways that I like to try to maintain a healthy rhythm, although some of these are easier said than done!
1.Get enough sleep at night. There’s nothing worse than trying to tackle a big day at work, or an activity-filled weekend with your family, while running on fumes. Getting enough rest definitely helps me more effectively prioritize each day/week/season.
2.Empty your mind each day. If you have trouble shutting your mind off at the end of the day, keep a notepad by your bed and write down everything that’s keeping you from turning your brain off. You’ll be able to relax better at night and will feel more focused in the morning.
3.Be present wherever you are. This may sound a little silly, but let me explain. If you are in a meeting, don’t be checking your text messages or day dreaming about some upcoming trip. Be all in on that meeting! It’ll show to those around you and make the time spent in the meeting more worthwhile. If you’re at dinner with your spouse, leave your phone in your purse. Spend that precious time reconnecting with your person! What’s the point of going to dinner if you’re both going to be on the phone the whole time? Be present where you are and make the most of every moment.
4.Talk to friends. We are not meant to walk this journey called life alone. Seek advice from those who maybe be a life stage or career stage ahead of you. Seek wise counsel, and don’t feel like you have to do anything completely alone.
Now I’m not perfect at practicing what I preach, but I really do try, because I know making work and life happen in tandem is no easy feat.
Seasons can be long, or seasons can be very very short. But whatever your season looks like, work at it with all your might. Then remember to rest. I think we will all be much more productive in every area if we learn the art of rhythm.
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