Maintaining Balance

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 17 Comments

We have a guest today! Rena Ford is stopping by to chat about balance. 

I don't know about you, but I could use some balance. I'm as scattered as Humpty Dumpty after a nose dive from a cliff. So let's see if Rena can educate me us!

Thanks for letting me take over your space today, Elizabeth!

I've noticed a recurring theme on a lot of blogs: balancing life and everything else. It's like we think we're SuperWoman or something. That’s been me these past few months, biting off more than I can chew! I’m pretty stressed out, and I’ve been noticing that I’m not the only one. So, pull up a chair, I’m about to give you the secret to balancing your insane life: work, school, family, hobbieseverything.

There are exactly two things that will balance all of this. Are you ready for it?

No, I mean really, are you ready? This is magic I’m talking about, so you’d better prepare yourself.

The first secret to balance is the power of “No.” When things get too hard, or you’re looking at your schedule wondering how you will be able to fit everything in, just remember that you do not have to do EVERYTHING. But saying no is hard. I get that. Remember that if you find yourself in the land of maybe, you’ll only string yourself along, carrying the emotional weight of a commitment you can’t really make. Give yourself the gift of No. If you’re holding on to a maybe, give yourself a concrete set of rules for saying yes or no. This allows you to reduce the emotional weight the maybes have, and free you up to get on with everything.

The second, less well known secret is to be present. When you are doing something, do it with your whole heart. If it’s family time with the kids, it’s not marketing on the side time. When you set aside time for each of your activities, put all your attention into that activity. This, more than anything else, will bring balance to your life. And, believe it or not, this is the hardest thing for any of us to do. You have a second and you want to check your phone, see what’s going on in the world, but when you do that, you’re checking out of where you currently are. If you can give yourself the gift of being present, it will make the time you do spend on your various tasks a higher quality time. This makes a difference. The higher quality time, the more you will feel like you actually accomplished something.

Of course, it’s easy to put these words up on a blog when we all know that life is messier than that. Give these a chance and you’ll start to feel like you have more time, even when you don’t.

Agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear how you are balancing your crazy life in the comments (and just to be clear, I haven’t achieved it yet, but this is the best approach I’ve found so far).

Allyson fights acne, not trolls. As an inhaler-carrying member of the asthma society, she just wants to meet the father who turned her mother into a paranoid, move-across-the-nation freak. Now she’s trying to fit in at yet another school, but for the first time in her life, she has a best friend, Beth. When Allyson accidentally spits fire at kidnappers in the mall, she realizes why her father isn’t in the picture: she’s half dragon. Her acne? Emerging scales. Her asthma? The side effects of her dragon's fire breath. Instead of freaking out, unflappable Beth reveals her own troll heritage and explains how things work with the supernatural creatures hiding within the modern world of smartphones and skyscrapers.

When trolls kidnap a unicorn, Beth gets blamed. Allyson is determined to prove Beth’s innocence and keep her friend off the unicorn chopping block. When they start looking for the kidnappers, they get a call from the last person they expect: Allyson’s father. He tries to warn them off, but he's been put under a spell by the kidnappers to keep the victims from escaping. Nothing short of death can stop him. Now Allyson must choose between killing the father she’s always dreamed of, or letting her best friend die for a crime she didn’t commit.

Like most mad scientists, Rena Rocford's early works were met with scorn and mockery, but she bided her time. After all, what did her fellow kindergarteners know about literature? Rena kept her writing on the mythical back burner as she pursued more logical goals. Today, crayons. Tomorrow, the world.

She spent years living as a normal, conducting experiments in shady laboratories, but always the stories returned. Admittedly, living as a muggle brought Rena some levels of success: a master's degree, a house and a family, but now the time is ripe for world domination, one book at a time. From her secret base in the wine country, Rena has enlisted the help of her cats, her loyal dogs, and her family―who can be relied upon to hide the launch codes at a moment's notice. You can find Rena at her blog, follow her on Twitter, or find her on Facebook.

Join the Goals Blog Hop Here!

Misha Gericke & Beth Fred host this monthly goal update. The idea is to think big...and then work hard to make it happen. It's time to set goals for 2016! 

This year, I'm going to take a more balanced approach to my goals (because I totally agree with Rena!!). People always ask me what it takes to write a book, and I say five pounds. That's a joke, sort of. The reality is writing, editing, and online marketing require a lot of butt in the chair time. Extra butt in chair time eventually turns into extra pudge around the middle. I'd say I'm beginning to look that sweet Humpty Dumpty, but my legs aren't that skinny. I'm not the sort who is ever obsessed with body beautiful, but I don't want to have a heart attack either. So, this year, I'm adjusting my 2016 goals to add some life balance to the work goals. 
1. Lose weight- every pound shaved off is a win. 
2. Declutter rooms to declutter the mind.
3. Publish two books. 

Thanks to our hosts LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in!  

We survived the snow storm! I'm one of those weird people who enjoy being snowed in. I know. I'm a freak.

I'm also not an essential human being who has to be on the roads. If I was, I'd probably see the snow differently.  Prayers and thanks to all the people who have to brave the weather to keep us safe and sound. My husband never gets to have a day off, so I feel a little guilty when I join my boys in their snow dances. Fortunately, my husband is a good sport and a good driver, so he never puts a damper on our snow excitement.

Don't forget the Lost and Found Blog Hop!
Join us Here!


  1. You're no freak - I also enjoy being snowed it.
    Focus on one thing at a time. I can do that. I think it's something that comes a little more naturally for men. I definitely know how to say no. Wish more people did.

  2. Hmmm might be leaning towards freak lol

    No is easy for me to say haha true, being present is something we have to do. That can be harder as my brain goes 50 other ways sometimes.

  3. I love the snow too, but with all the doors blocked by snow I did feel a little panicked. We have access via the garage though, so it's not that bad! :) I love it, but my boys and hubby drive in it so it does cause concern. If only they could build roads that melted it on contact and managed to stay clear while the rest of the country looked lovely. LOL
    Great idea, balance - I too stress myself with taking on too much but keeping the clutter down (the dishes done, the bed made) I feel less hassled. But during a book release it go, go, go!
    Love dragons, this one is on the TBR list! Congrats, Rena!

  4. I like being snowed in too! But yeah, I don't have to be on the road either. Great goals for this year.

    Excellent advice, Rena. It is difficult to say no, but I've gotten a little better at it.

  5. I like being snowed in too so we are freaks together.
    Great advice, Rena. I am working on trying to get more balanced. Congratulations on your release!!

  6. I love Rena's advice. Sometimes balance is about saying "No" and spending quality time doing fewer things.

    I'm with you on the losing weight front. My way is cutting refined carbs so I lose weight. So far, it's working quite well. :-)

  7. Wonderful advice for becoming more balanced. I'm still working on not biting off more than I can chew. And not multi-tasking. Old habits are hard to change, but I'll get there.
    I share your 2016 goals, except I'll be happy publishing one book instead of two.
    Glad you survived the snowstorm. Have a great weekend!

  8. Wow! I totally agree on the advice for being more balanced. I've been better about telling my kids lately that "this time is writing time" and "this time is conversation time." Or . . . what usually happens is I schedule free conversation time for the first half hour to hour after they come home from activities. I give that conversation my whole heart, and then . . . I notice the clock and I send them off to do homework while I write. It's hard sometimes, but we're all accomplishing more and feeling good about our time together.
    I love your goals. I'm trying to lose some pounds, too, and get healthier.
    I love snow dances and snow skiing (when my legs are up for it), so I like staying home and driving in the snow.
    Glad you enjoyed the snow lately!

  9. I know how you feel about the snow, Elizabeth. No fun at all is it? Some people love it, but I"m not one of those. Just focusing on one thing at a time helps us not stress out. Otherwise, things can get overwhelming. Hope you have a fun weekend.

  10. Thanks for having me, Elizabeth! I also like getting snowed in. I loved it when I was a kid, as it sometimes meant our vacation was accidentally extended. I loved it!

  11. Thanks to Rena for the tips! I handle most everything by realizing I don't have to be perfect and not beating myself up for failing - that takes a lot of the stress out of it. I'm one of the weirdos who always enjoyed being snowed in, too, probably mostly 'coz I was young and knew school would get cancelled (or I wouldn't have to go into work)! Yay for "snow days!" LOL!

  12. That's perfect advice Rena. "No" is such a powerful and freeing word.

    I think it's great Elizabeth that you are working goals to take care of yourself into your life. After all, your mind, body, and soul are your writing instruments and professional always takes good care of their instruments :-)

  13. I just found another book to check out.

  14. Like the advice and love the sound of this book too! Enjoy your weekend :) Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

  15. I've gotten better at saying no. I also stick to my to-do list. We're matching in goals.

  16. I've actually taken an online course on Meditation, and read two books in January on how to "Be Here." It's hard being present. My wife teaches yoga and she's constantly telling me to, "just breathe."
    Rick (Your latest follower.)

  17. Your goals for this year are certainly ones I could do with following too! I always want to declutter my house, but between my husband and son, it just seems to be getting fuller!


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