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Chaplain’s Corner: Finding balance despite the constant chaos of life

By Tech. Sgt. Jessica Keechle | 673d ABW Chaplain assistant | June 29, 2015

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, A —
 


The "Chaplain's Corner" offers perspectives to enhance spiritual/religious resiliency in support of Air Force and Army Comprehensive Fitness programs.

Comments regarding specific beliefs, practices, or behaviors are strictly those of the author and do not convey  endorsement by the U.S. government, the Department of Defense, the Army, the Air Force, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, or the 673d Air Base Wing.
 

Finding balance in life and the Air Force has become more of a challenge over the last several years. Decreases in manning, increases in responsibilities, and then let's throw in family and all the little things that pile up at home.

It seems like it's never ending right? So how does a person seek to find balance with all the constant chaos?

For me finding this balance is a constant everyday battle. Once I think I have it down, I don't.

I like to think I am the queen of making lists, scheduling and prioritizing it all out.One list for my primary duties at work, one for additional duties at work, one for home, one for the fun things I want to do for me or with the kids, one for groceries, and so on.

That helps balance my life, right?

As soon as I get one thing checked off of any one of those lists, I've added five more things. It seems as though I never have enough time for any of the things I want to do. Oh! Let's not forget the schedule.

Just when you think you can tackle some of that house cleaning list because the kids are down for a nap or in their room for quiet time ... throw that out the window!

Being an active-duty single parent presents its own set of challenges as well; PCSs, daycare and family care plans, deployments, TDYs, ear infections and homework - all without another half to balance the load.

I know it sounds like I'm complaining; no, I'd not change a single day of my life - I am simply illustrating that life is crazy and presents its own unique challenges for all of us in each of our walks. But how we handle them is the key. 

One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time, one challenge at a time, one checklist item at a time. That's what I tell myself.

When everything starts to come unglued and I'm starting to feel out of control, I have some amazing friends, supportive family and wonderful co-workers that will tell me to stop, take a deep breath and ask 'What's important right now?' 'What do you need to focus on right now?'

They help me to stop take a step back and re-evaluate; make a new list and keep moving forward.

Sometimes this step back takes just a few minutes of quiet time, or a walk away from the desk.

Sometimes it takes a day, maybe two. Sometimes it may take longer than that and more help than I thought I needed.

Maybe I need to go talk to someone because it's all too overwhelming. Lay it all on the table, shuffle it around, balance it out and pick it back up. 

In all this chaos going on around us, and as we seek to balance our work lives, family lives and ourselves, the one thing that I hold on to is my faith.

For me, faith is the anchor I come back to time and time again. Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."

Faith is what I keep coming back to when things are good and balanced and when things are too much and the scales are not equal.

How do you strive to keep your balance?