For all of us, there are those sayings that when we hear them in ‘real life’ (meaning, the reality of what we imagined adult life would be like…) we instantly think of the person who commonly spoke them. In those moments, they offer a unique perspective on not only life, but on living, as they tie together the innocent perspective and cherished memories of our past, with the sometimes harsh realities of our present. My mother-in-law is well known for reminding all of her (many!) little ducklings to ‘trust in providence.’ My father would always say cheesy things like, ‘the family that dines together, shines together,’ when we were busy teenagers, and ‘anybody can kill a bug, but only God can make a bug,‘ as he would carry the offending intruders outside to safety. But the one morsel of wisdom that sticks most in my mind comes from my own mother, who incessantly preached that ‘life is a balance.’ I don’t think I learned the truth to that until much later in life. And if I’m being honest, I’m still learning what it means to balance the hectic Mondays and the Saturdays on the porch, the winning smiles and the lonely tears, the ice cream sundaes and the kale salads. But my favorite quote, for many years, has remained:

“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.”


I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that I’ve been so quiet over here in my little corner of the web for the past few weeks. Thanks for being patient and understanding and allowing me to be quiet. Life has gotten really busy and confusing for me, and I’m still trying to work it all out. Rest assured, all is well with all members of the AFM5 family! But the reality is that in life, you are often influenced and surrounded and pulled and pushed by more than just those whom you care about most, and by more than just those who care about you! The hard part for me, is finding a balance between compliments and criticism, between working for more and being satisfied with what you have, and between being content with who you are and wanting to improve yourself. Life is hard! But it is a good hard when I am surrounded and supported by my pups and my family and my friends (virtual and literal!) and my amazing husband.

I know this is all a bit ambiguous and open-ended, and in some ways that is a deliberate, purposeful choice. Maybe by being vague, you will be more able to apply my struggles to your own life? Nevertheless, one thing I have learned, is that I am not myself without this special space. When I write, as much as the words jumble in my head, the rest of the environment gets kind of quiet. There is no pressure to communicate quickly, no set amount of time in which I have to express myself clearly, and no guidelines that limit my authenticity. I am able to slowly and conscientiously select the unique combination of words that puts genuine color and movement and music and texture to the thoughts and feelings and experiences that jumble inside my head and heart. And if I’m really lucky, it may spark something inside of someone else.

So while the frequency of my posts may diminish for a little while, I’m making a conscious decision to share as I work through this challenge and change. It’s a daily struggle and a daily choice. The format and content of this space may change somewhat, but it will still be here. Stick with me, and I promise that I will be back to your regularly scheduled programming. Quality over quantity, and all of that. It’s so easy to continually push until tomorrow, but I don’t want to look back and see what I’ve missed. I want to enjoy the now… snowflakes and sunshine both included.

With all of that being said, I want some input from my friends and readers. How do you bring balance to your life? Are you able to juggle it all, and if so, please share your secret! If not, how do you decide which balls to drop, and at what point do you remind yourself to restructure and prioritize? Thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom and honesty.



How is it that my dogs never seem to have an issue with balance in their lives? If only they could share their secrets!

How is it that my dogs never seem to have an issue with balance in their lives? If only they could share their secrets!

8 thoughts on “Balance

  1. Sending a hug, typist is going through some stuff herself at the moment and so feels she is not in a place to give any advice. Other than to say at some point you will be looking back at this, decisions made, outcomes lived with a stronger person for what you are going through – don’t know if that is helpful to your situation or not. Hope it is!

  2. I don’t think balance is our natural state. We may work towards it, but more often than not we are usually busy trying for balance rather than achieving it. I think that’s a good thing. If we were in continual balance, what would there be to strive for, to look forward to, to achieve?

    My way to somewhat seek balance, to center myself, is to go by water like a river, lake, or ocean. There is something about being by water that makes me feel close to God, to realize that I am not alone.

  3. I can relate 100% as I am a constant run’r/give’r/do’r. I stress myself out all the time over all the things that I volunteer to do for others and want to do for myself! Long days, lots of driving around, and stress…it all gets done eventually. But the stress I put myself through is unexplainable and even more the stress I put my family through when I am torn all different directions! I am about to experience this even more in a few weeks as I’m just not physically going to be able to drop everything and go do what I need to do with a newborn that is going to be pulling me in all directions as well…BALANCE in live I think is hard to come by these days. I have no advise to give as I’m a follower in your exact path!! Good Luck! And just try to enjoy the ride! Do what makes you happy! To me, helping others to my full ability makes me happy regardless of the stress i go through to do it!

  4. I struggle horribly trying to find balance. I tend to direct my attention to a few areas in my life and then the other areas fail miserably. I have not found a way to juggle it all and still stay sane. I think this makes us human…

  5. For the past 2 months I have been the main caretaker for my Mom who suffered a stroke. I have a very hard time letting others do for me and/or her because we are so very, very close. I struggle to maintain some sort of balance, often unsuccessfully. I keep thinking it will come, I just need to give it (and myself) some time. Hang in there. I thoroughly enjoy your blog.

  6. Well obviously I always try to make time for my dogs. If I don’t get them out, not only do they miss out, but I miss out on some always-needed fresh air and exercise. I also try to make time for one guilty pleasure a day, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, my favorite is reading hollywood gossip online:/ I try to feel accomplished even if I’ve only checked 2 things off a 100 thing list each day and usually my blog is the first thing to go by the wayside when I’m busy but I try to remember that the main purpose is for it to be fun and not a chore or something to feel guilt over:)

  7. Pingback: Balancing Acts | Temporary Home, Permanent Love

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