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Smooth Sailing

Good Morning Texas’s Paige McCoy Smith talks about finding balance in the sea of life…

by Paige McCoy Smith | Contributor

Paige-McCoy-SmithPeople often ask me how I balance it all: the kids, job, homework, marriage, carpool, deadlines, commute… I have to stop now. Just writing it down makes me tired. I like to use the analogy of being in a canoe on an ocean that keeps afloat by occasionally tipping to the left or right depending on the tide.  That peaceful comparison works well until a harpoon is shot into the side of my little boat and I simply sink. You can be sailing along just fine (thank you very much), and then an illness, a blown water heater or a 24-page report on the French Revolution that’s due tomorrow (yes—that happened) can, shall we say, certainly “rock the boat.”  Balance is allusive and seemingly unattainable.  In fact, the closest I get to living in harmony is a combination of caffeine, Downward Dog and an occasional good cry. I’m not alone—I know you are likely in a similar canoe in the same ocean waiting for the next tidal wave.  

Even with proper planning and good intentions, the unexpected curve ball that comes with life can throw everything out-of-whack. So if you’re looking at this article as a “how-to guide” for finding that perfect balance in your life, avert your eyes now and quickly flip to another page. But, if you are seeking a warm hug the next time you are late to the carpool line or a sympathetic nod when it’s May and you still haven’t written your Christmas thank you cards, you have come to the right place.

I can sit here and write such things as “find time for me time” or “balance is a state of mind”—but who am I kidding? You are still going to put way too much on your plate and feel defeated when something falls through the cracks. My best advice? Cut yourself some slack. Do your best to prioritize, but please forgive yourself when priorities are blurred and hard choices must be made.

Here is a practical idea that I am stealing from a true “can-do” woman. Although by all appearances she had it all together, she confessed that many sleepless nights were a consequence of all the things that were left undone on a daily basis. Her solution? Instead of creating yet another “To-Do” list, she made a “Did-Do” list. She wrote down all of the many accomplishments she had in a single day. On any given day, this may have included 3 loads of laundry, 7 returned phone calls or 125 cotton balls glued to poster board for her son’s research project.

So pour yourself that second glass of Chardonnay, take a few deep breaths and know that it will all be waiting for you in the morning. So will your worst critic.  You know who she is… the one who stares back at you in the mirror. When you see her, be kind to her.  After all, at the end of the day, she’s the one rowing the boat keeping your head above water.


PS: Look for me on WFAA Channel 8 Monday through Friday at 9:00 AM!

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