HOW TO FIND BALANCE IN YOUR LIFE (PART 3)

The third in a three part series on finding balance in your life based on a Charlotte Freeman quote
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

FINDING BALANCE PART 3

Last week I shared Part 1 and Part 2 of a quote from Charlotte Freeman that gave some great suggestions on how to find balance - and consequently some contentment and happiness - in life. This is the third (and last) part of my series - where I'm sharing how her thoughts intersect with Midlife and trying to get the balance right.

How to find balance in your life - Charlotte Freeman quote

PUT YOUR TRUST IN A HIGHER POWER

Put your trust in the universe. 
Some things are just meant to happen, and some are not. 

No matter what your belief system is, I think we all like the idea of a higher power having some influence in our lives. As a Christian, I will give a difficult situation over to God - often much later in the day than I should! We are so restricted in our understanding of life's events - we get caught up in the moment's trauma and often forget to think about the bigger picture. When we look back we can often see why something happened the way it did, but at the time it just seems beyond our understanding. It's easier to give it over to God and trust that the end result is what it needs to be.

I like to think that God is allowing difficulties into my life for a purpose, it can't all be good times, sunshine, lollipops and rainbows - it would be nice, but I don't think I'd be the person I am today if life had been one long picnic or party. Tough times teach us and develop our character - sometimes I think I wouldn't mind being shallow if it meant missing out on the trials, but I know deep down that they have given me my backbone.

LET GO

Let go of whatever is stealing your happiness, it’s hard but it is worth it. 

This is a tough one for me too - I tend to hold on to things too tightly - and the more they slip away, the tighter I want to grab on. If something is meant to be in my life, it will stay and if not, then grasping it in a stranglehold won't keep it there. I've watched unhealthy relationships become even more toxic when one person won't let go and I never want my life to become like that.

I saw a fantastic quote from Iyanla Vanzant recently that I'm sharing below - it beautifully sums up the need to open our clenched fists and stop trying to hold on to what is not ours.

Whatever leaves my life makes room for something better.  Iyanla Vanzant

EMBRACE CHANGE AND EMBRACE LIFE

Embrace change. Embrace life. 

I love these two short sentences! I have resisted change for a large part of my life. I am a person who likes having their ducks in a row, who likes routine, who likes to know what is coming up next. But, life doesn't fit into neat boxes, rather than fighting that fact and resenting the curve balls, it really makes things simpler if we are open to change and welcome it as it comes into our life.

I want to live with my arms wide open and to accept what comes my way with a smile - life is short (and getting shorter every day). I admire those people who vow to say "Yes" to everything that comes their way - I want to be more like that and not miss the opportunities that present themselves - to miss out because I hesitated or was too scared to say "Yes" seems like such a shame - and I don't want to live with regrets.

THERE IS A REASON FOR EVERYTHING

Everything happens for a reason, sometimes you just need to breathe, trust and let go. 

The whole "breathe, trust and let go" thing is an area of life I have really been working on. When you are a bit of a control freak (like me) it's hard to let go and trust that things will work out without the need to micro-manage everything. To accept that I can't control everything in my life is a fact that I can acknowledge intellectually but struggle with on an emotional level.

You don't always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens. Mandy Hale

I'm getting better at this - but I still have a long way to go. To not have a plan just blows my mind and the fact that I married a man who says he "never plans" amazes me too. Sometimes it's nice to not always have the oldest child syndrome in my head - to not feel like I have to be the grown-up responsible person - sometimes it's nice just to let it all go.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you and oldest child at heart? Do you need to always have a plan? Do you hold onto things and people too tightly? Maybe it's time to open up your fist and let everything go - what blows away wasn't meant to stay - and I think we'd be surprised with all the good stuff we still have left in our life.


The third in a three part series on finding balance in your life based on a Charlotte Freeman quote

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32 comments

  1. Hi Leanne, what a lovely thoughtful and introspective post! I love the Finding Balance list and can relate to them all. I am the oldest child and definitely have that outlook on life at times. I am learning to let things go and being retired has helped get me away from having to deal with toxic people on a daily basis. You have summed it all brilliantly!

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    1. Thanks for your encouraging words Deb - I'm finding that it's easier to let stuff go now that I'm aware of what I was holding onto too tightly. Grasping never works - and you girls make retirement look so appealing - I'm getting there and I think it's going to be wonderful!

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  2. Leanne - there is so much here that I'm not sure which element to comment on. Are you writing my life? My favorite might be "I'm getting better at this - but I still have a long way to go"!

    I too am a planner and have a hubby who never plans! I can't claim older child syndrome though. I'm learning to adjust plans though - life has a way of doing that. Last year we had a couple of big "life derailments" and I think I handled the changes pretty good. So now I can say I need a plan, but I'm happy to adjust it! And recognize that the derailment/change is probably for a reason. This most recent one (cancer diagnosis) has allowed me to recognize I have a really strong support system of friends - IRL and on-line, near and far, from way back and newly created. Mind-opening to a person who always felt she wasn't a good friend, couldn't make friends easily, and didn't have a support system. I've had to change the tapes in my head!

    Here's to more embracing of life, letting go of old self-limiting beliefs, and continuing to progress!

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    1. Patricia I'm so sorry about your diagnosis - it's going to be a battle, but when you find that you have so many supporters it must make it easier to face. I think it's something we all dread, but those who go through it come out the other side so much stronger and really aware of what's important and what's dross.
      I'll be following along to see how you go and cheering from the sidelines xx

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  3. Great series Leanne. We get a few do overs in days but not years. I have set a bar for myself in all aspects of life, "Feeling the Love". If I don't feel it I don't do it again, say yes to it again or go along with it again.

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    1. You inspire me so much Haralee - you break things down to a really simple level that makes a great deal of sense. It's about not wasting these precious years we have left - instead we need to be doing what we love with the people we love.

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  4. These final points of your finding balance series fit perfectly into my focus for this year: flow. As in trusting the universe, letting go, embracing life, just breathing and living in the moment. I was forced to learn these lessons in order to survive the past two years. This year, I want to lovingly pursue and embrace this frame of mind. Thanks for helping out the cause with this wonderful post.

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    1. I'm so glad you've enjoyed these posts Christie - they have been really good for me to write - it's made me focus on being more "Zen" about life - letting the trivial and toxic go, and embracing the things in life that are worth investing in. Living with a calm mind really is the only way to go isn't it?

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  5. I learned how to let go after a very stressful vacation. It was the worst. I planned out every moment of "fun" and it was the worst. I was exhausted from trying to meet a schedule that even included nightly dinner reservations. Who wants or even needs that much control on a vacation. I was so stressed when I returned to work.

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    1. A friend of mine took herself, husband and adult children on a trip to Europe that she organized down to the last detail. She came back exhausted and said that she'd never do it again - trying to please everyone and keeping all the balls in the air was beyond stressful. I still like my ducks in a row, but I'm learning to stress a bit less as I go along these days.

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  6. Interesting to read and I am glad you are working out how to manage this elusive work/life balance.
    Thanks for linking up for #lifethisweek 7/52. Next week's optional prompt: February Is...

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    1. I think I may have actually nailed it Denyse - early days yet, but things seem to be a lot less stressful and much more low key. I can work, do my job well, be pleasant, enjoy conversation and then walk out the door without bringing it home. Fingers crossed that it continues!

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  7. The perspective that hindsight brings is fabulous. I remember a few years back in the old partition job, we had a difficult client who had us in meetings each morning. A year or so later I had to relocate the office in Melbourne to somewhere new. We had an entire wheelie bin full of minutes of those meetings. All that stress & angst ended up in a wheelie bin. Hindsight.

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    1. That's such a great picture to keep in my head when I'm next sitting through an interminable meeting Jo. I think about how much nit picking and triviality we deal with and it's so time wasting and energy sucking. The less time I spend in the workforce these days, the better my life seems to get.

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  8. I always need a plan Leanne and the topics you have covered today are the hardest ones for me to overcome. Letting go is so hard but when I do the relief I feel is tremendous and I wish I had done it earlier. If only we had had this type of advice when we were younger. Never mind we still have time to learn and change. Thanks for co-hosting #midlifesharethelove party and I've shared everywhere! #MSTL

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    1. You're so right about it never being too late to learn new tricks Sue - I just wish sometimes that I could have done the first half of life easier - if only I'd known then what I know now (but it's about wisdom and that takes a while to acquire)

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  9. I am working on the letting go part. I am leaving for vacation tomorrow and I haven't planned a thing. That is not like me. I am not feeling stressed about it though, what will be will be. I am sure we will have fun no matter what we do. I have given up being a control freak and it is remarkable freeing!

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    1. I can't even begin to imagine going on an unplanned vacation Michele - so you are miles ahead of me in the letting go stakes! I hope you have a fabulous time and good on you for being so unstressed about it all!

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  10. Our time is too precious to waste on toxic relationships. I embrace life and change, Leanne. I do some planning but my plan is loose and I don't get stressed out if it's changed.

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    1. I like the idea of a loose plan Natalie - not completely flying by the seat of your pants, but still having plenty of flexibility - it's something I will be aiming for more in my life :)

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  11. I used to have a plan for everything when I worked my corporate job. I had to be organized and know when I was coming and going. Now I am lucky if I know wether I am coming or going and that is okay! I just don't seem to have the same brain power to get things done like I used to, I have decided that is the universes way of telling me to live life as it comes. Great post!! Thanks for hosting such a great party!!

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    1. Hi Susanne - I'm looking forward to not knowing what day it is - that will be my primary aim in retirement! I lose the date now that I don't work every day, so losing the day will be next on my list. And you're right about our brains taking life a bit easier - we just need to follow their lead :)

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  12. I agree there is a reason for everything, and there are some things we just can't control and so often it's only hindsight which allows us the perspective to see a different way of doing things, or how we could have done things better. I believe that motherhood has taught me some big lessons one of which is most definitely, 'Embrace change and embrace life'. With our peripatetic lifestyle up until now in Australia, change has been a big part of my life, and although geographically I've coped quite well, I think often I've been guilty of hanging onto too much emotional baggage and not embracing life to the full.

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    1. You're so right about parenting teaching us about life Jo - I've been a mum for over 30 years and the lessons never seem to stop coming - letting go is a big one that rises up on a semi-regular basis (so hard as a mum - so easy as a child!)

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  13. I love the quote by Iyanla Vanzant! This is a wonderful article and a nice companion to Sue's article this week!

    Linda at https://HelloSweetLife.com

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    1. I just loved that quote too Linda - it was so full of wisdom wasn't it?

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  14. Having retired, I am learning that life is fun without a plan - some days are harder than others though!

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    1. I'm hoping that is the big blessing retirement will give me Erith - I am big on making plans, so living a more flexible life has a LOT of appeal.

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  15. To all of your questions, I answer with a resounding YES! I am the oldest child and still suffer from that syndrome. I like to have a plan and a purpose but I do believe that everything happens for a reason. And I agree that often times we can't see why things are happening until we have moved through the storm and are on the other side.

    Have enjoyed this series and am enjoying getting to know you, Leanne.

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    1. I've really enjoyed getting to know you too Leslie - and it's funny how we can see the similarities that oldest child syndrome seems to bring with it - that constant need to have my ducks in a row is definitely something I'd like to have less of - I'm slowly getting better!

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  16. The quote "I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong" seems to go along with your ideas here! And I agree - things always happen for a reason! Thanks for sharing with us at The Blogger's Pit Stop! Roseann from www.thisautoimmunelife.com

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    1. I used to hate that quote Roseann but it has a lot of truth behind it - without difficulties we never really grow and develop (but there's times when I feel like being shallow wouldn't be too bad!)

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