Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Achieving Life Balance

Jasia tagged the whole Genea-blogosphere to write something about "Life Balance." The questions to be answered include:

How do you achieve balance in your life?
What is your biggest challenge in balancing your life?
What are your priorities?
How have your priorities changed over time and why?
What advice can you share to help all of us balance our own lives?

Asking a Geneaholic about achieving Life Balance is dangerous! My initial off-the-cuff response was "well, standing up and walking is my best example of achieving a life balance." I'm reminded of my 13 month old grandson who teeters as he stands...but he will be running soon.

Jasia noted that people with a single-mindedness struggle to achieve a life balance. I am the ultimate multi-tasker - I have the printer going on a document, there are 6 windows open to the Internet, the clothes are drying and I'm eating my pre-lunch cookies as I type this.

Life Balance to me means understanding what is important to living successfully - having and nurturing relationships, achieving financial security, being healthy, enjoying entertainment, sports and hobbies, serving my church and community, being a good citizen, etc.

Even with all of my talk about being a geneaholic - I think I do these things fairly well. I enjoy my wife, my daughters and their families. I/we have a wide circle of friends, we are relatively well off, we go out to dinner, to plays, and to sports events occasionally, we go to church regularly and serve actively, we vote, we stay up on the news and issues, we watch some TV and listen to some radio. I do genealogy research - perhaps spending too much time online in my Genea-cave and not enough with my wife and friends. I serve as President of a genealogy society and lead a research group in addition to my genealogy research activities.

I try to achieve balance by paying attention to the people and things in my life. If my wife needs a hug, she gets one (if she tells me - I'm not overly perceptive!). If the grass needs to be cut, I do it someday soon when it is cool out and I have nothing better to do (usually when Linda wants to do her email).

The biggest challenge is to juggle the genealogy responsibilities (mainly the meetings) with taking vacations and visiting the grandchildren.

My life priorities may not be today's priorities. I love doing genealogy work, but if my wife was sick, or the grandkids needed help, I could change my priorities immediately. The life priorities have changed - 20 years ago it was raising two daughters and working toward financial security. Now it is more staying healthy and enjoying life - with friends, family, hobbies, entertainment, etc.

Advice? From a Geneaholic? Who would listen? Or care?

My advice is to do all things in moderation, do them well, stay true to your principles, be happy and forgiving, love well, learn always, get a good nights sleep, eat your vegetables and fruits, and follow your dreams.


Jasia said...

I'd say you've achieved a good life balance, Randy, which puts you in a good position to give advice on the topic. Thank you for sharing!

Lee said...

Sound advice if you ask me, and I bet if I followed it my life would be a whole lot more balanced. :-)


Lillie Ammann said...

Thanks for participating in the meme. Your understanding that priorities change based on where you are in life shows that you aren't totally a geneaholic:-)