Sunday, January 19, 2014

ABAC Challenge- Balance

Hello! So glad you stopped by to visit!  It's my turn to share a project at Anything But a Card Challenges.  Our current theme is 'BALANCE' and you can share any type of project as long as it's not a card.  I love challenges like this because they are so open to personal interpretation.  What do you think of when you hear the word balance?

I realize that 'balance' can be perceived many different ways: equality, the balance of composition in art,  or having/creating physical balance, for example.  But today, I am thinking in terms of 'finding balance'.  Probably because this is something that I am forever working to maintain in my life.  As soon as I saw this theme, I knew what I wanted to do.  So I set off to have a little photo shoot to capture the thoughts that were swirling in my head, and then I put them together on a digital scrapbook page using MDS.  I hadn't made one of these in a while and thought it would be good to use my computer for something other than blog surfing and pinterest...  I had a bit of a creative epiphany as I was trying to coach my daughter through framing the shot and deciding which pose looked best.  I had both girls do their own balancing act as I snapped pictures, and I absolutely love that none of us did it the same way!

Page Recipe: Background and white alphabet from Kellybell, Stampin' UP kits used were Get It Done and Keep in Touch, and the splatter stamp is A Split Second. 

I know that people love to talk about finding the balance between work and home, or other areas that require balance, but I also believe that there is so much more to this than budgeting your time.  I also think that this can be more difficult depending on who you are.

When my oldest was diagnosed with ADD, I read everything I could get my hands on in an effort to 'help' her.  What I found was that she didn't need my help.  She wasn't broken, she just had a different way of seeing and doing things.  I also realized that while I didn't have a professional diagnosis, I too had ADD.  This explains why I can completely throw myself into a project, totally lose track of time, and 'check out' from everything else that is going on around me.  It also explains a lot of my procrastination issues.  Somehow, in my case, my personality and strengths led me to focus on and enjoy academics (which is why this was never perceived as a school problem for me).

So what does this have to do with balance and my page?  While you can't see my journaling (on a separate paper to be attached to the back), I wrote about the way my balance (and my daughters' as well) is perceived and viewed by others.  I tend to commit on an extreme level when I do things.  If I'm on a committee or volunteering, that will be my primary focus and other things can just wait.  I know I'm like this, so I try to only sign up for things that I am passionate about.  After all, if it's taking away from family time or me time, shouldn't it be very important?! I've worked very hard on making the word 'no' a part of my vocabulary, even when others are telling me that I surely have a little time to help with (insert  latest event here).  "No" has become a necessity to my balance.

I also explored the idea that my balance isn't always about making things 'even' as much as it is prioritizing.  My daily balance is NEVER equal.  Some days I won't touch a thing in the house because I'm busy reading, creating, or doing something with family.  Other times, I might commit several days to cleaning and organizing. I need to embrace the fact that my definition of balance is taking care of the priority for that day and not feeling guilty about the things that didn't get accomplished.

I think the hardest part of understanding balance is that it doesn't look the same for everyone.  I have a friend who travels a lot through her job, volunteers often, and is constantly on the go with her kids activities.  My initial reaction is to shake my head at how she chooses to balance her life.  But she is not me.  She is incredibly organized to a fault, has an immaculate home, and lives to have everything on a schedule.  This makes her happy and her family is very happy as well.  On the other hand, she could view me as being very untidy, unorganized, and (gasp) lazy as I read and create instead of 'doing things'.  Perhaps she does, but she also knows that I can drop everything to be where I'm needed, a luxury she doesn't always have.  Our senses of balance are very different, but we are both happy.

This page really helped me think about the way my brain works and using that to my advantage instead of trying to make myself into someone I'm not.  I also realized that I need to sandwich those nasty priorities (like cleaning) in between the things I love to do.  Make a card, do a load of laundry, make a scrapbook page, sweep a floor, do a journal page, wash dishes (hmmm... maybe do 2 journal pages before this one...)  But even if I don't get all of the cleaning done, I will still be me and that's not such a bad thing after all...

Well, I didn't intend for this to be quite this long, and I hope that it wasn't too 'bunny trailed' for you to follow my train of thought.  I also hope that perhaps it will help someone who is at this moment being too critical of their own sense of balance.  Life is too short to spend it comparing yourself to someone who is nothing like you...    I will be back soon with a Shadow scrapbook page that was also inspired by balance.  Have a fabulous week and happy crafting!!


  1. So true that we all balance ourselves differently. I was introduced to the idea of 'ringfencing' blocks of time - putting an hour (or two, or six) in the diary for a certain thing, and then keeping that hour sacrosanct for whatever it is you've dedicated it to. The person suggested ringfencing time for creativity... Personally I have to ringfence time for admin and cleaning to get it done - and the rest of my time is for creativity!!

    Love your balancing page with all three of you finding your own way to balance - perfect visuals for your thought process - a great post altogether, Margaret, thank you!
    Alison x

  2. A great page and I so loved reading your thoughts on balance and how you going to do things in your daily life. I did something similar just before Christmas i.e. chore, fun, chore, fun and it worked really well and I felt better for doing it. Just need to get back into the habit!

  3. I so enjoyed your page and your "long" story - you have described me almost to a "T" - I am the same as you!! I, too, focus on one thing until it's done & tend to neglect everything else, so nice to know I am not alone! Thank you for an awesome project & post!!

  4. Wonderful, fun MDS page and awesome post, Margaret !

  5. Read it and then had to step away. Very thought provoking and my brain is just the same. I've recently learned that no word you speak of...crazy thing to hear it roll off your tongue..almost sounds foreign, but wow...the way it helps to keep me balanced and not feeling pulled in all directions. Loved reading this post Margaret. I guess the gist of it is that life is a circus and our performance in it is to do to the balancing act. Some on tight ropes, some on elephants, some on motorcycles, some on the ground. Great job getting my brain going :)


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