We’ve all heard the term, mid-life crisis. But what about a mid-year crisis? I’m in the middle of one. Just as in a mid-life crisis a person finds themselves in a place and wonder how they got there. I’m finding myself in such a place and I don’t particularly like it. Why? My life feels out of balance.
So what’s the remedy? I’m using the REACH principal. It’s an acronym to help me remember to ‘REACH for a more balanced life.’
R is for Review. I’m reviewing the past year. Where did I get off track? It started innocently enough. Last summer I moved to a new house. That’s where packing out my life started. As I packed my house, I also started packing my schedule, telling myself it was temporary. I thought I had to ‘pack it all in’ to accomplish everything and at the same time move my household.
E is for Evaluate. I’m evaluating how packing for my move and telling myself it was ‘only for a time’ bled over into the rest of my year. My evaluation revealed some truly great and worthy endeavors were in the mix. It started with packing my schedule with training for a marathon, reading through the Bible in 2003, various training programs at work, and getting involved in lay ministry at Church, along with maintaining my graduate school schedule and normal weekly functioning. Yikes!
This brought me to the point of A, in my REACH for a more balanced life acronym. I need to Admit that even with all the worthy endeavors, now a year later, I am ‘packing in’ vacation. If one family vacation is good, then two must be better, and pack in a graduation trip with my daughter in between the two vacations. Wrong. This is insane. Even something as worthy as vacation has gotten out of balance in my life. I need to admit I am missing the point of vacation. The ‘routine panic’ of my life has even permeated vacation planning. I need to admit the truth that my soul, my spirit need a rest. I need to be recreated; and vacation that is not a time of recreation is a missed vacation.
I am also admitting that I am packing in the food because there’s not time to plan wisely. Besides with a packed out life, there’s no time, no energy, no motivation for planning good food choices. Even the best-laid plans for exercising can go awry when one has no mental, emotional or physical energy reserves left to function on.
So if I’m going to review, evaluate, and admit these things, the next logical step in the REACH acronym is C for Care. I must care enough to make change happen. First I must care enough to get back to the Bible reading habit of 2003. After finishing the Bible, the habit has slipped from its place of priority. I need to get back on my small group Church schedule of reading and journaling. I needed to care enough to cut out the training classes at work and at church. For the time being, enough is enough. Although my work is in the fitness industry and I have been training to teach fitness classes, I need to care enough to admit that in the process of all the training, I am losing the joy of my own personal workouts.
So this leaves me with only the H in REACH for a balanced life, Hang On, while having the courage to change. Now is the time to cancel the second vacation, cut back, scale down and do what is balanced and meaningful. I must listen to my inner voice, the one that has been told time and again, ‘this is just for a short time.’ I’m admitting it has been a year now; a year of packing out my schedule. I’m admitting a packed out life is no fun.
I encourage you to taste the joy of a mid-year evaluation. I’m cleaning up my life and it feels great. Just the thought of it lightens my step, and opens up the room. I can breath easier now. The weight is off my chest. I’ve admitted what my inner voice has been telling me. My life is too packed and it has become a habit. Wish me luck. I may need it. Old habits die hard, you know.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. [Proverbs 16:9]
Has your life become overpacked? You can find the right balance when you join us at our next New Life Weekend.