The new year brings opportunity for change in our family. Where those changes need to occur can be identified by clarifying areas of our lives that need to be kept in balance. In his book, Making Room for Life: Trading Chaotic Lifestyles for Connected Relationships (2003), Randy Frazee notes three things that get out of balance in our daily lives (pp. 71-83).
1. Work Imbalance – The increase in part-time work as a present trend in America means people are working more in order to have less. Straddling the tension between the demands of work and the expenses at home can mean that one or the other will need to be trimmed in order to enjoy the family we work to support. Learning how to bring those two forces into balance is the challenge of the day.
2. Relationship Imbalance – Significantly connected close friends are difficult enough to make and maintain primarily because they require time that we don’t have. Between work, school, extra-curricular activities and other social engagements, time for simply enjoying each other without distraction is often absent from homes. Even when it is just us, alone at home, we are on the computer, watching tv, texting friends, listening to music or playing video games. When texting or social networking takes the place of face-to-face encounters something is lost and may need to attention to get back into balance.
3. Sleep Imbalance – Frazee postulates that the epidemic of sleep disorders in the western cultures could very well be tied to both the work imbalance and the relationship imbalance. The normal work day is supposed to involve working and resting in preparation for sleep. Often, during that resting period, our lives are meant to decompress with significant others as we talk about the day’s events, both positive and negative, process them together and settle what we can. When work carries over into the part of the day meant for meaningful relationships, the unwinding time is not available to process the day and settle down to sleep; instead, that time begins to edge into the time we have reserved for sleep.
As we consider the new year why not take a few moments to consider re-balancing our average day’s activities as it relates to our work, our relationships and our sleep schedule?