Balance for Better

Life is always busy - I make a point of making it that way. The month of March brought with it a perfect storm: new designs at Klas squared, campaign and lifestyle photoshoots, quarterly business planning at work, an unusual volume of social engagements, resulting in a never-ending to do list with firm deadlines before a spring vacation to Jamaica. International Women’s Day (IWD) came and went without much thought but as the month progressed I felt myself compelled to write. Why now? I had begrudgingly but necessarily stopped blogging due to competing priorities, but something inside me had woken up and wouldn’t keep quiet.

In the meantime, I was working like I never had before while feeling constantly behind at Klas squared. If I took away from one to give to the other, I felt as though I was failing both. But that there had to be a balance - not only in dividing my time and effort, but in balancing my mind as well. I needed to accept the fact that I could only give 100% of myself to one thing at a time. It was better to embrace them both and make time for each, rather than put them up against each other constantly competing for my time and attention. In trying to answer the question “how do I balance both jobs?”, I realized the answer was easy: you don’t. I needed to eliminate the guilt of trying to be two people in two different places at once. Not only was it slowing down my progress, but it made for less quality work as well.

I’m forever playing the woulda coulda shoulda game - and not only as it pertains to work. I’m constantly worried I’ve made the wrong decision or committed my time to the wrong activity. Instead of sitting in my decision and being present, I often push myself to multitask or create to-do lists to ensure I’ve made the most of that time (ironically, it’s those same lists that make me more anxious later on!). But if I decided to go to the gym, I needed to be at the gym. Or if I’d decided to be out with friends, they deserved my full attention - not a wandering mind that is already on to the next task. The more thought I gave to the subject, the more I realized that I had formed my own view on this year’s IWD theme, Balance for Better.

bal·ance
/ˈbaləns/
noun

1. an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

Remaining upright and steady - is that what it all comes down to? I’m constantly driven by the need to be the best version of myself, to bring something to the table, and to have an impact as a (powerful) woman. But as March was coming to a close, I felt stuck in my quest to conquer, to building my path to success, and my ability to leave a mark. I was quickly approaching burnout which meant soon I wouldn’t be steady or upright. I had to take a step back and listen to what my mind and body were telling me.

2. a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.

I realized that how I balanced my responsibilities and priorities needed to be in proportion to my needs - something that was constantly fluctuating. At this moment, I knew I needed to focus on self-care and took to my journal to put pen to paper.

I had forgotten how writing has the ability to help me sort through my thoughts, to make sense of the challenges in front of me, and to face my fears and vulnerabilities. It’s helped me acknowledge and accept that I have an intense personality; one that can draw me to extremes. Though that same intensity can drive me to work hard to achieve success, it can also lead me down a path to disappointment and despair. And in all this talk about balance, I was surprised to find that I’d had the answer all along. I had already found a way to challenge myself while processing my ideas and emotions in a productive way. I knew what I needed to do to stay upright and spend my time in the correct proportions: I needed to listen to myself and I needed to write.