What exactly is balance and how do you know when you've achieved it?
This past weekend, I had the complete honor of being on the panel for the first ever Buffalo Boss Babes Speaker Series. It was an unforgettable experience, being able to share the floor with three other amazing women (four including our incredible moderator!) who are all so different, yet are able to relate to one other through our experience, passion, hard work, and dedication.
After the event, a sweet woman came up to me and asked an interesting question.
"Between everything that you do, how do you balance it all?"
I actually get that question a lot. Aside from relationship and home life, I work a full-time job, run two websites and countless social media sites, plan and attend events, manage the Buffalo Blogging Network, conduct interviews, maintain a shared studio space, raise two wonderful fur babies, write creative content, visit with friends, and somehow fit working out, eating and sleeping into the equation.
We all have SO much happening on a day to day basis, that sometimes it's easy to get overwhelmed. How do I balance it all? Well, to be honest, sometimes I don't.
Social media is a funny thing. Instagram is full of beautifully curated photos and accounts, giving the illusion that these "influencers" have the perfect lives and have it all together. I know it's been said a thousand times before, but I think it's always important to reinforce the fact that these photos and these accounts just show the highlight reel, not what's going on behind the scenes. For example, I've posted photos from events and professional shoots, but you didn't see when I had a mental breakdown in my office at work because all of the photos on my blog miraculously disappeared and I learned that I would have to try to save four years worth of content and completely build an entire new website, or when I come home at midnight after working my full time job, then doing an interview or attending a function, tired and starving from not being able to eat, looking like a zombie from The Walking Dead.
But throughout all of the crazy times, I honestly wouldn't change any of it for the world. Five years ago when I started on this journey, I had a goal. A goal to build a website, a blog, a brand. I decided at that point that nothing would stop me from achieving these goals, and I'm proud to say that I've done what I set out to do, and more. My website keeps evolving and I keep adding on more goals and projects. I have a lot of fun and scary ideas swirling in this head of mine, and I always say, "If I'm not going to do them, then somebody else will." Not willing to give up on any of my dreams, this is what drives me on a daily basis.
But in getting back to finding a balance in live, I actually do have one valuable piece of advice.
Learn how to say no.
When I started blogging, I would say yes to literally any and every opportunity that came my way. Every event, every ask, every product, everything. That's totally fine when starting out and trying to get your name out there and network as much as possible, but over the years I've learned that I need to say no to actually keep my sanity. There can be seven events happening in a week, and I'd love to attend them all, but I need those two or three evenings per week to just. do. nothing. Sit on the couch, watch Food Network in my pj's, and recharge my battery. I'd like to think that I'm Superwoman who can run on empty, but that's not reality. If you and your soul does not feel balanced, then your life will never feel balanced. That's why I always make time just for me...working out, going to lunch, doing some shopping, etc. Saying no doesn't make you a bad person, it will save you in the end. Trust me.