I’m not really that good at doing life in a balanced way. I definitely have more of an “all or nothing” personality type. I wonder why? Maybe I could blame my Dad who, everytime I got 95% on a test, would ask me – “What did you do, spell your name wrong?” Or maybe, that’s just the way God made me. Who knows?

For some reason, I’ve always thought that being an all or nothing person is a bad thing. I’m not too sure why? Maybe it’s just the perfectionist streak – if you’re not doing everything perfectly, then it’s not good enough. And when you admit you’re an all or nothing person, you’re admitting you’re really not doing things “perfectly.”

This all or nothing approach to life crops up in so many different ways….

You can pretty easily tell whether I’m in ALL or NOTHING mode just by visiting my house. If it’s ALL – the house will be clean, dinner will be planned, the kids pjs will be ready for bathtime later on and I will have done a million and one things that day. If it’s NOTHING then it really is a bit of a shambles. Things will be a mess, I won’t have even done the food shopping, Cam will end up cooking dinner at 530 and it’s all just a little chaotic.

It creeps it’s way into lots and lots of aspects of life…
– can’t go for a 40 minute walk – oh well, I just won’t go at all. (Hey – why not do 20 mins – no way, that’s not enough exercise in a day!)
– I’ve eaten 3 Tim-Tams already today – oh what the heck, I’ll just eat those last two. (Apparently just leaving them is not an option)
-“What do you mean my passport photos aren’t good enough – getting these applications in is on my to do list and I am in ALL mode!”
(It was not my finest hour – just ask Jack)
– can’t spend 30 minutes reading the bible and meditating and praying first thing in the morning – oh well, I’ll just skip that today. (I do keep telling myself that there is no quiet time for 30 mins in the morning rule with God but the message just won’t sink in)

But then on the flipside, last week, inspired by my friend Heather’s to-do list related update on Facebook, I decided I too would make a to do list and finally start making headway into the mountain of things to do before we leave. And I rocked it! This is the kind of thing that the ALL side of my personality excels at – ticking things off a list. I got so much done.

I’ve been trying to work out how to balance it all out for so long. I might have made some small changes, maybe, hopefully? In some ways it would be nice to be a little bit more consistent with things.

But I think I’m also going to try to embrace it a little bit more. Maybe even celebrate it. It is kind of nice being able to switch into ALL mode and blitz the to-do list. And I am learning to be content in the NOTHING mode too – it’s slower and messier but there’s more time for people, and that is awesome.

How about you – “all or nothing” or have you got things better balanced?

Any helpful hints? I’m wondering if one week on one week off would work out?

Oh and just for the record – I don’t blame my Dad. That was his equivalent of saying good job and I always knew that. My Dad is amazing!


7 thoughts on “Balance

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  1. Reading this I feel like I am reading my own diary…maybe it is in our family genetics or something….I just wish I could be semi organised every day….but like you, some days I feel like I have been in total control and totally organised and others…well, as you say there is special time with friends and family. I just try to take each day as it comes and just try to enjoy it for what it is.

    When I visit Oma and her house is so neat and tidy and organised I wonder if mine too will be like that or if my world will always be chaotic and crazy. I also wonder if hers was like that when she had 10 children at home! I don’t want to change it though, I just enjoy!

  2. I especially identify with the Tim Tams (“Oh well, I’ve stuffed the diet by having some so may as well finish the packet”) and the exercise (“I can’t do 3 Curves sessions this week so might as well not bother”) comments.

    1. Oh I am exactly the same! It’s even worse now, I find myself thinking…might as well eat these Tim Tams (or almost anything else I see for that matter) – can’t buy them in Lichinga!

  3. I’d just suggest that keeping the ‘Sabbath principle’ in mind is a great idea. Not saying we do it well at all, but the Sabbath days are your NOTHING days even if the other six days are ALL days! Don’t see the Sabbath as a ‘you must rest, you will rest, REST!!’ No, God gives us the rest for our sake because we need it.

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