Trying to Find Balance
It was about 8 years ago that I started making changes in my life to achieve more balance. I left my full time job as a computer programmer and went into business with my husband. I was the fourth employee of Discount Security Cameras after the President (my husband), the sales manager, and the technical support manager. My job was to handle the accounting and the web site. The idea for my transition from a full-time job into our own business was that I would be able to more easily balance my work and home life.
And for a blissful while I was able to achieve more balance in my life. I could get my job done in about 4 hours per day. That left me plenty of time to raise my two elementary school-aged children, take good care of stuff at home, and volunteer at my children’s school. I even had a little time left over for myself! I recall long leisurely walks, shopping and cooking, and time with friends.
Demands Keep Catching Up
Fast forward to 2007 – the children are in middle school and are very busy. We have moved into a bigger home with a pool! Our company has more than doubled in size… it has twice the number of employees, and we have two websites instead of one. Achieving balance in my life was not so easy and I had to make some adjustments. I realized I needed some help. So I hired help at home as well as at work. That helped restore my sanity for a while.
Today it’s the fall of 2010. My children are wonderfully vibrant opinionated teenagers. Our company has been in business for 10 years. We operate out of a 25,000 sq. ft. office and have 13 employees. The economy is tough and many of our customers have gone out of business. Like all other business owners I know, we have to work twice as hard for half the result. On top of that, my health is getting my attention as my body ages.
Reallocate My “Supply”
I realize now that a whole new level of change is required to keep some balance in my life. There is only so much of me to go around and there are only 24 hours in a day. I have only so much time that I can devote to my job and to my family. I must do a better job of allocating myself and not have unrealistic expectations of what I can do.
I now realize that this will not only take external changes, but internal changes to how I approach things. To that end I need to:
- Delegate and let go of responsibilities at work – It’s time to let someone else take over the accounting functions at work, and I will have to resist the temptation to “stay involved”and trust that they know what they are doing.
- Expect more from others at home – It’s time to let my husband and children cook and clean up after themselves. And it’s time for me to start letting go of my responsibility of managing my children and instead supporting and coaching them as they learn to manage themselves.
- Take back things for myself – As things get busy it becomes so easy to forget about doing things for our self. Balance, however, requires that you not lose sight of things that you value. So I need to take back some things. I cannot take my health, my friendships, and my marriage for granted any more. It’s time to get back to the gym, see my friends, and spend quality time with husband.
All these changes are a little scary if I’m being honest. Letting go and putting more trust in others can be daunting.
Adjustments Will Be Necessary
I also now realize that this is an iterative process. Maintaining balance is at best difficult. New demands present themselves at every phase of our lives. Unforeseen things will “crop up”. I fully expect that I will have to constantly reassess things in my life to take into account changing demands and make necessary adjustments for balance. While this does take effort, I foresee happier, healthier, more peaceful days in my future.
Maureen Page is VP and co-owner of Discount Security Cameras, your source for quality security cameras and security camera systems. She lives in Jacksonville, FL with her husband and two children. Besides her family and business, she enjoys nature, reading and music.
Photo by procsilas