To say that this year has flown by would be an understatement.  It hasn’t just flown by, it’s flown at supersonic speed.  Do you agree?

When I was in my late 20’s – early 30’s, I worked with a bunch of guys that were 5-8 years older than me.  They had wives and kids and liked to impart their wisdom on me. They told me that the years will get faster and faster…and even more so with kids.  Boy, they weren’t kidding!

This year has felt faster than any year I can remember.

I’m enjoying a moment of peace & quiet — reflecting on the year and planning for the rest of the year.

Trying to balance work, parenting, volunteering, and self-care is not easy.  As I recall back one year ago, it was the start of the school year when life started to feel a little out of control. So this year, I am trying to be ahead of the game by being more strategic.

I’m also trying to help you stay ahead too by running my 5-day Peri-Menopause Detox  right before school (or Fall) starts so that you can step into the end of the year eating healthy and feeling good.

Beyond eating right, here are a few 3 questions to ask yourself to stay balanced when life gets crazy.

1)  What/who can I lean on to make things easier?
I’ve been leaning hard on the 80/20 rule (without guilt) – opting for high quality store bought granola over my homemade granola or porridges and planning the easiest possible dishes to make for lunch and dinner.  I am so thankful for the simplicity of eggs, rotisserie chickens from the Good Earth and my large batch sauces, pestos, chilis, & soups that sit waiting for me in my freezer.

I also have an amazing community of friends and neighbors that make life easier.  Carpools, playdates, trades…all these help take the load off me and add such an element of richness to our lives.  They bring both satisfaction for helping others and gratitude for being helped.  I love it.

2)  What can I put on the back burner?
This is a tough one because you have to be ok with NOT doing it all.  I put sending regular emails/blogs and the running routine I had envisioned at the start of last year’s school year on hold.

While I wanted to send my newsletters and blogs, I didn’t have the capacity.  If I had done them, it would have meant late nights, early mornings or both. (Ouch to the adrenals!) While I knew I would miss the connection to you and my business coach would not be happy, I also knew that it would take a huge burden off me and that it was something I could go back to at anytime.  I just didn’t pressure myself to do it.

I also had a big vision for an amazing running routine twice a week on the days that my son took the carpool.  In my mind, I would dash out for a run in the time I would have otherwise been dropping him off at school.  Perfect….well, not so much.  Running was pushed aside by 8:30am and 9am appointments taking precedence.

But running did not get pushed aside without a replacement.  Which leads to question #3.

3)  What can I do for my personal self-care?
Taking care of my body has become a non-negotiable for me. My body has made it loud and clear that if I don’t take care of it I will feel aches, pains, stiffness and cycle changes.  I cannot ignore it.  While I know some women attribute and accept these pains as “getting older”, I know better.  I have felt the difference myself and have seen it in others.  Self-care includes taking time for myself, eating right and exercising.

Instead of running, I started doing yoga and meditating more religiously every morning.  Yoga allows me to take advantage of the morning hours in the comfort of my own home. I subscribe to yogatoday.com and they have videos from 7 – 60 minutes long that let me squeeze in some yoga no matter how much time I have.

I also added meditation to my yoga routine.  I’ll be honest with you — meditating has not been my thing until this year.  I did it but not consistently.  My excuse was I didn’t have time.  My good friend Jenifer always reminded me of a wise Buddhist saying that goes something like this…

“If you don’t have time to meditate for 5 minutes, then meditate for an hour.”

Let me just say you have to do it to believe it because now I make time. I’ve noticed a positive change in both my attitude and outcome for the day.

And as I prepare for the start of another school year, I’m adding a fourth question…

4)  What do I need to say NO to?

This is what I am working on now.  As the new school year approaches and I am getting emails about helping with this and that at school.  I am going to be more intentional about my time commitments, I’ll be saying no to more so I can focus my attention on things important to me and keeping my life balanced.

How about you?

If self-care is big on your list, then join me for my upcoming 5-day Peri-Menopause Detox.  I have two start dates.  August 13 and August 20.  The detox is in August so that you can start the school year (and fourth quarter) on the right foot and finish the calendar year strong. I hope you’ll join me.