Eat. Live. Be. and Learning How to Do It All Without Losing Your Mind

by Cate on January 18, 2012

If you happened to visit Sweetnicks Wednesday night before 8 pm, you might have noticed that it was dark.  Online presences all over the world went dark today to protest the SOPA/PIPA bills that are before Congress.  If the bills should pass (vote is next week), what you see online on some of your favorite sites (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Wikipedia and millions of others) will be censored.  As someone who makes a wee bit of income with my own online presence, I made the decision to join the protest, make the site dark, sign a few petitions, and tweet about it.  Whether or not you have your own site, or just like to have freedom when spending time online, I urge you to research the SOPA/PIPA bills and sign as you see fit.

Onto our regularly scheduled program… When I think about trying to juggle everything, or how to best balance all my responsibilities, I try and revert back to the Aha! moment I had back in June with Wendy Clark.  And in a recent e-mail from Wendy a few weeks ago, she reminded me of the same message.  Balance is a false goal.  I can’t balance everything.  You can’t either.  None of us can.  What we CAN do, however, is give 100% of everything we have to whatever we’re doing at that particular moment.

When I’m at work, that’s what I’m focusing on.

When I’m helping Nick with homework, that is where I am, mind, body, and spirit.

Whether it’s menu planning, working out, or time with Mystic, I try to be completely present in that moment on that particular task.

Anything less, and I would go crazy.  But more importantly, I would always feel like I’m letting someone down.  Or myself.  Those pangs of guilt would creep in.

And the best way to rid yourself of all that?  Is to stop.  Focus on the here and now.  Whatever you’re doing at this particular moment.  And give it your all.

It’s an ongoing lesson I need to keep reminding myself of.  It’s something that doesn’t come naturally.  And I’m not sure that it ever will.  But I still think it’s where the answer lies.  I’m not perfect.  I slip sometimes.  My mind wanders.  Goes in a million different directions.  But I think the fact that I’m conscious of this, and work on focusing a bit more makes all the difference.

I think about it, the balancing act, a lot with dating, and Mystic and I talked about it this weekend.  The kids come first.  No doubt.  I don’t want any of them to ever feel like they’re getting short-changed.  And they don’t.  Or to not know how important their place is in our families.  The collective group of five are with us nearly all.the.time.  We do family dinners together.  Movie nights at home with darkened rooms and popped popcorn.  A spontaneous Sonic visit for slushes.  A manicure with just me, Madeline, and Mystic’s daughter.  A bowling date with just Mystic and four out of five of the kids (I thought he was very brave for that one since it was so early on when we first started dating!).  Get-togethers just because.  I want them all to feel part of the larger picture, so they are included.  Without fail.  On the rare occasions that Mystic and I are kid-free, we enjoy that too.  Fully and completely.

What I know to be true is this.  You get exactly what you give.  Whether it’s working out (this is, after all, Eat. Live. Be. day), sharing craft time with your kids, meeting a work deadline, or making time for your significant other (or the search to find one!)… you give 100%, you will get 100%.

It takes work.

It takes thought.  Constant thought.

It takes deliberate motions.  And plans.  And strategizing.

But one activity at a time.  100% to it at that time.

And you will be ok.

Swear.

I thought this quote from Michael Jordan was in keeping with my topic tonight. People, you get what you give. Give it your all, just one thing at a time.
Eat. Live. Be.

Be sure to check out the sites of Sarah, Patsy, and Joanne to see how they’re celebrating Eat. Live. Be. this week.

January 18, 2012 – Bonus Photo
Jelly Belly mix
I’d like to believe that these are healthier for me when I need a sweet fix. I realize that this may not be the case.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joanne January 19, 2012 at 7:24 am

I think the question I get asked most is how I manage to balance school, lab, running, and blogging…and it really is not because I’m particularly balanced but because I handle things kind of the way you wrote about. When I’m in lab, I think about lab and put my all into it. But the second I walk out that door, I’m out. The same kind of goes for everything else! It’s really the only way to live and not be overrun with guilt!

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