I think life balance is one of the keys to happiness in life, but its a challenge today to find it.
Balancing personal, couple, family, friend, work, and community goals involves trade offs. I need some time alone to relax. It might be watch a TV show or movie, or to read a book for fun or learning.
We try to have a date night at least once a month. That gives us time alone to have a more involved conversation on whatever issues we haven’t had a change to talk about and of course to have fun together.
Keeping connections alive with family and friends is vital. Most of our parents and siblings live within 45 minutes of us, making this easier. We usually see everyone at least every month or so, and holiday or birthday celebrations make it
I have to admit I don’t think we do a great job keeping up with some of our friends. Facebook lets us stay informed about events, but its not nearly as satisfying as spending time together. Sadly, spending time with friends is one of the first items that gets dropped when we get busy.
Work requires one of the biggest time commitments for us. At least 40 hours a week is devoted to work, and that ignores commuting.
For community, we stay engaged with our public school and church. School just started up for us again (early August is too soon!).
There are only 168 hours in a week. Since we require 8 hours of sleep to function at a high level and maintain our health, we really only have 112 hours. Backing out 50 hours for work, leaves 72. Eating, cleaning, and other commitments do not leave a lot of free time during the week for us. I think we get 1-2 hours of time a night after the kids are asleep. Some of that is used for exercise, prep for the next day, or anything requiring attention.
I think the best analogy for balance is juggling. You have all these balls up in the air that you have to manage. Sometimes one or more of the balls requires more attention. The key is to carefully set some of the other balls aside while you have to focus on a few areas. After awhile, hopefully you can add those balls back into your life.