Balance vs Harmony

Right, this one is hard to word correctly so bear with me.

For a long time I felt as though we were all being pushed towards this perfectionist idea of finding balance in our lives. The notion that every day, week, month should be proportionally balanced between the key areas of our life. That’s how we achieve happiness and live life with ease. Dedicate the same amount of energy to rest as you do to hobbies, give as much to your family as you do to work.

But I’ll be honest, even the thought of that sounds exhausting, and in my humble opinion – that just isn’t how life works.

Take my life, say I HAD to split it into categories I could potentially devote my time to, I’d suggest – Business, Sophie, Fitness, Self Care.

Okay so let’s now say I’m awake for 16 hours in a day (it’s a lot less, I like my sleep). Does that mean I should be spending 4 hours on work, 4 hours on Sophie, 4 hours on Fitness and then 4 house on Self Care? Is that what balance means? Okay so if we’re less literal, does it mean that over the course of a week I have to spend roughly a quarter of my energy on each thing. Where does that leave time for anything else which might crop up. Friends, romance, running a house etc… It sounds a bit inflexible to me. But ‘balance’ literally means a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.

I’m also a realist, sometimes things need to take priority for a bit and other aspects take a back seat. Over the Summer Holidays, I will devote far more of my time to Sophie and focus on Self-Care once she’s gone to bed, I don’t workout at all besides the occasional hike with her in tow, and work is limited to minutes here and there whilst she’s distracted.

This to me, is harmony. It’s living in flow. It’s knowing that if I were to attach a number to my energy, the percentage that each area of my life requires is different every single day. It means that I can be guilt free when 80% of my time is spent working on one day, because I know thanks to harmony I’ll swing it back towards other areas in good time.

When I’m launching, I’ve got a project to finish or my hormones are pushing me to be creative – work will get more than an equal share of my energy. I can easily work 14 hour days when I’m in the zone, happily too. I’ll be honest no, I don’t suddenly neglect Sophie and these are usually days she’s at her Dads – but yes my workouts become quicker or non-existent and self-care can (temporarily) be neglected.

I also have periods of time (speaking of periods…) when I place far more focus on self-care. I work when it feels good to, sometimes for only a few hours a day, and then spend the majority of my time reading, rest, restoring. Sophie will enjoy downtime too, reading or playing on her switch and my workouts become far more gentle and you could argue – less effective.

Then of course, and if you follow my personal instagram you’ll know this, sometimes I get a little gym-obsessed. In December I actually took a midweek day off to dedicate to a hike because I felt like my soul needed it. Last summer it wasn’t unknown for me to spend hours upon hours in the gym. It feels good too, my body and mind needs it. I actually once wrote a mammoth amount of captions in my rest periods because it was SO beneficial for me to be working out in the gym.

They’re all lovely little anecdotes aren’t they, but I hope that you see my point. Sometimes life requires us to focus more on certain areas than others. If we were constantly striving for ‘balance’ then how do we cope when our bodies, mind or circumstances are screaming at us to put more focus onto something. If I force myself to work when I’m itching to move my body, when Sophie needs me or when I need to rest then my work will become subpar and I’ll burn myself out.

I’m actually less likely to burnout working 14 hour days when I feel called to, have the energy to and I’ve not got the urge to be elsewhere. If I look at my months overall now that I try and strive for harmony instead – they’re so, so much more productive in every single area. I’m a better Mum because I know I’ve got ahead with work by allowing myself to work super long hours and forgo other stuff, I appreciate my self-care more because I do it intuitively to when and how I need it, my workouts are more effective to what I actually need right now (as a woman, my hormones literally don’t allow me to be at peak strength every day of the month, so a gentler workout is actively more beneficial on those days than trying to lift heavy and risk injury).

Of course this also allows for things to crop up as I mentioned before, I feel as though I live in a wonderful flow and that I’m achieving well in every area, so if my friend announces she’s coming round and I suddenly need to deep clean the house – I can do so guilt free. If Sophie needs a day off sick, I can put projects on hold or have a less productive day to look after her. Things pop up, that’s life – by living in harmony you’ll feel more prepared for what to come and be far less stressed about falling behind, because you can adjust your harmony in the coming days to get back to where you need to be.