I just finished reading The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall. It was fantastic. Reading the book got me thinking about my life right now. Balance. Can we have it all. Is that possible? Honestly, I feel like the answer is no. Not to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but I just don’t feel like we can give 100% to everything in our lives without something else caving.

I had a breakdown this weekend. I was trying to figure something out with the house and was super frustrated and I snapped. I ended up going outside – into the rain – and just standing there for a bit, crying. I needed the air, the space, the cold to think things through. Why was I breaking, why did everything feel like too much?

I think that I just let everything pile up. We’ve been working at the house as much as we can after work and on the weekends, I have hardly seen many of my friends recently, I’m not sleeping well, I hardly get any time to workout, let alone relax. It all just got to be too much and I snapped.

So back to balance. Maybe it is just my experience, but for me, I can’t train for a marathon and be present with the building process and spend quality time with Lane and our family and friends and be focused at work and keep up with normal house tasks, cook, and take time to take care of myself. I’ve had to choose what is most important each day and try to keep all the balls going as best as I can. All of those things (and more) are important and can’t be neglected, but sometimes I have to hit pause on some things and do my best to focus on them as I have the time.

Right now, I’m trying to catch up on sleep and get in at least short workouts as I have time. I’m not training for a marathon, but I still need that outlet. Something is better than nothing, so sometimes a short workout is what I’ve got time for and it’s better than nothing at all. If I can sleep and get in semi-regular workouts, at least I behave like a normal person and don’t snap at people I love.

So can you have it all? Maybe? Sometimes? But when things build up and become too much, I think something’s got to give. It’s up to you to decide what that is.

How do you balance life? Do you think that people can ‘have it all’? What do you do when you get stressed?

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  • I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed the book, Sarah, and it seems like it kind of helped you think about things in a different way; I’ve often wondered how you manage to handle all that you’ve taken on recently, and you’ve always done a great job. Thank you for sharing this and I’m so happy to hear that, as usual, you are doing what’s best to take care of yourself. Love you!

    • I’ve always thought that “having it all” doesn’t mean having it all at the same time. But it was a perfect book for me to be reading right now, that’s for sure! Love you too!

  • I try to prioritize things each day but always have something that falls short of what I would like. Single mom, three kids, and sports. Not all of us will be happy or satisfied. But the moment I let my perspective slip is when I realize I am losing balance. Life is harder when I don’t look at the positive things in each hour of each day. I try to let myself breath for a few minutes each day and just be. It is hard and I have my moments. Running has been helpful and I can’t imagine how hard it is to plan things with the house and such. You are looking at things right, and its ok to crack and break. We are only human. Emotion is what we are built on.

    • Looking at the positive helps, for sure. When things seem like they are falling apart, reminding myself of all the good definitely helps me regain some perspective. Thanks for your thoughts! You seem to have the right outlook! 🙂

  • Thank you so much for your kind words about The Balance Project, Sarah. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. I can totally relate to what you wrote above. And I admire your ability to know what you needed to do to recharge. We women have so much on our plates and it just gets to be too much sometimes. Anne Marie Slaughter recently gave an interview where she likened work phases to interval training, which as a runner and an athlete I’m sure you can relate to. Sometimes you go full throttle and then you have some recovery time before the next big push. You might enjoy my Balance Project interview series where women are authentic and tell it like it is. And that is that no woman is doing it all. Every single person makes sacrifices somewhere! Thanks again!!!

    • Thanks so much for the link to the interviews, I’ll definitely check them out!! I think it’s so important to realize that we can’t do it all, all the time. We have things to focus on and things that get pushed to the background. And those thugs change all the time depending on where we are in life. Thank you so much for your kind words! I can’t wait for your next book!

  • i definitely feel like i’m constantly seeking balance in all areas of my life. i don’t think its possible to do it all. you can do anything, but you can’t do everything at the same time. i also think that there are different seasons in life..and your focus/priorities change and to how much of your attention goes to each of these areas… (if this even makes sense?) now i definitely want to read this book! i’m addicted to personal development books…

    • The book is actually a fiction novel but the points it brings up are so good. I really do recommend it to anyone! I do understand what you’re saying about seasons in life. It’s like when you are single vs married. Sometimes your priority is you, sometimes someone else is a big factor there too. Same with kids. Sometimes you have a career focus, then for some people it will change to family at some point. Thanks for sharing Marti!

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