Life Without Balance: Having It All By Not Having It All

woman-balancing

I’ve never been one to want it all. It just took me a really long time to realize it. I function better when I want less. When I get all want-y, I get overwhelmed and forget things.

Through the years I have discovered my truths:

o I don’t care about having a shit-ton of friends. I care about having true friends.
o I don’t care about making a ton of money. I care about doing what I love.
o I don’t care about fancy vacations or lavish pieces of jewelry. I prefer tiny towns, staying at a Bed & Breakfast and eating at diners.

I have learned in my forty-plus years of life what makes me feel fulfilled: my family, my friends, my health, good food and laughter.

Having it all doesn’t mean your life is squeaky-clean all the time.
Having it all doesn’t mean you never question your life choices.
Having it all doesn’t mean you are able to do everything without asking for help.

After mastering the art of saying “no more” to things that didn’t set my soul on fire, I realized I was doing myself and others a great service. By saying no, we allow space for what we truly want in life to show up for us.

That doesn’t mean I don’t sink to comparisons. If someone really enjoys coaching basketball and volunteering at school, I often feel like an asshole because I don’t like doing those things. At all. Or, you know, the women who run five marathons a year, which makes me think: If I tried harder, I could do that too.

Comparison is the root of all evil. We can let ourselves go to a place where we believe everyone is doing more, doing it better and as a result feel less than, unworthy and like we just plain suck.

Or we can realize there are enough rainbows and sunshine for everyone and celebrate each other’s successes without letting it cast a dark shadow on our own lives.

Is doing something because we see someone else doing it better, harder or more often a reason to do it? Is that really going to make us happy?

No. It is going to make us feel wasted, depleted and cause us to lose sight of what is truly important.

We all tend to move toward things that serve us, lift us up and make us feel happy. Those experiences, hobbies or people are different for everyone.

For me, I believe having it all means saying no.

I believe having it all means serving yourself.

I believe having it all means making room for yourself to grow, change and evolve without guilt.

I believe having it all means not trying to do all the things just to prove something to people who either don’t give a damn about you.

Your people will still love you even if you don’t have buns of steel, make six figures or have kids who make high honors and are the star of their soccer team.

To me, having it all means having less shit to deal with. It means having some freedom because I didn’t overschedule myself and my family.

Having it all means I find balance sometimes but not always. (I’ve always sucked at the balance thing.)

It means I allow myself to mess up, to really mess up, then forgive myself and move on.

Having it all by not having it all. Yeah, that is more my speed.

Photo courtesy of Kyson Dana

About Katie Bingham-Smith

Katie Bingham-Smith had three kids in three years and crafts her ass off in order to stay sane. She loves to write, wear faux leather pants, eat at burger joints and make beautiful things. She pays her kids to rub her feet and play with her hair. You can see more of her writing on Scary Mommy, Babble, Grown and Flown, Mom.me, She Knows, Momtastic, and Mommyish.