This past week, my colleagues and I had an opportunity to present at New York University’s Student Affairs Conference. Our panel, “The Fifth Trimester”, was founded by one of my team members and gives women in our field the opportunity to share how it felt to readjust as working moms returning to work after maternity leave. This was our third conference and we were touched to see other mothers in our field connect with our stories and challenges.
It’s so interesting. I named this platform The EZ Breezy Life because my life looked and felt everything but easy. As time has evolved, I have come to the realization that lo and behold, my life will never be “simpler” than it is today.
Truth be told, as I continuously ask God to expand my capacity to take on new territory, I am walking through a journey where God is unearthing bad habits and practices that must be dealt with before I can be trusted with more. One of those areas is balance. Putting first things first and understanding when it is time to pivot.
I was listening to T.D. Jakes' podcast the other day. When asked how he juggled being a leader in multiple realms, he mentioned he’d learned how to shift his focus day-to-day, ensuring no part of his life remain neglected for more than two days.
Immediately, I thought of all the areas of my life I neglected all month and started to take stock of the main area of my life that needed my attention. I also thought of all the progress I made in finding my own equilibrium.
Here are some ways I encourage balance in my life:
To be sincere, I have been outsourcing my housecleaning for quite some time now. With my work schedule, personal commitments, ministry, and family business, I made decisions very early on about what would go off the table. It’s not because we are rich, it’s mainly because I knew I wouldn't have more time to do things that would make me rich if I insisted on shining my silverware just right, by myself. I let the dishwasher we purchased do its job, and I outsource other household chores at a reasonable price.
Not trying to do everything at work
I used to spend an average of 60-70 hours giving of myself to work, church, and every other organization I was a part of. But now, I simply decide what I can and can’t give and allow others to do the same. So long as these choices don’t hurt the organization, those we are called to serve, and other teammates, I tend to overlook a great deal. I also allow others to do things the way they want to, focusing less on the process more on the end goal.
I scan every opportunity for alignment
Before I take something on I ask myself: Is this good for God, good for others, and also good for me? Once upon a time, I said yes to every church committee people signed me up for. These days I first ask myself, “Has God called me to do this, or people?” This has kept me from overextending myself in that realm. As I get better at doing the same in every arena of my life, things get easier and breezier.
I find ways to bring my passion into all I do
I love helping others realize their full potential, specifically leaning towards the needs of historically marginalized groups. As such, my approach to work and ministry is to infuse these values into all I do. It is very challenging for me to go to gatherings that have no purpose other than celebration.
When I do, I rarely stay to the end. Perhaps this is an area I need more balance in, but I find I am happier doing community service AND the cha-cha slide than I am just dressing up and dancing for no reason. As such, I ask myself “why?” and sometimes have to cancel plans when I realize I said yes to something that was not in alignment.
I try to take care of home first
Confessions of a recovering workaholic: If I am in love with what I am doing, I can easily lose track of time (and dates). I am gradually learning how to manage the main things like my health, family, and friends, and I am so grateful I am getting better at this! My husband has been wonderful at making sure I take necessary breaks, and I have gotten better at listening to him. Here are some pics of my colleagues and I, styling and profiling while trying to battle this cold that refused to let me be great!
I ended the day at a couple's painting workshop with my baby daddy (who some refer to as my husband and Manny’s father) after my presentation. He is a unicorn of a gentleman, I picked that purple boa just for him!
As life would have it, the EZ Breezy Life isn’t simple, but it is possible, through Christ.
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