elephant on ballTime. Who has enough of it? If you have enough of it, please let me know what the secret is. I often feel like I don’t. They say that there is twenty-four hours in a day, but I swear it can feel much less than that with the weight of what the world burdens me with from time to time. I’m a single mother, full-time employee, friend, daughter, sister, and more. And with all those titles I sometimes wonder how I am able to respond to my own desires as a writer. It’s simple, I make time and remain realistic and flexible to that time.

Since I’ve delved off into this world of authorship, I find myself in many conversations with others about how to make time for your own happiness. It’s something I’m still working at, but I’ve learned that I must somehow balance my happiness with the happiness of others. My daughter is demanding, my job has set expectations for me, and my friends and family look to incorporate me into their lives, whether I like it or not. The key is creating a balance. Setting limitations on what I can and can not get done within those few twenty-four hours. I know I have to be happy in order to fulfill others expectations and for me, my happiness is writing. I have to do it. If I don’t, I lose a piece of myself. I wanted to share just a few tips on how to maintain a balance between following your passion (your happiness) and maintaining healthy relationships with others that gallop throughout your life.

1. Define what your standard of happiness is. I say your happiness is based on passion(s); a thing or things that make you completely content when no one else is around. What makes your heart thump loudly? It’s probably your passion. Write that passion down on a piece of paper and help manifest it into your daily living.

2. Prioritize what you can address within a day. It is so easy to think beyond the minute that you are living, trying to figure out how you’re going to fix the mess that may or may not take place a week from now; a month from now. It’s important to prioritize what you try to handle from day-to-day. Do you really have to focus on how Saturday will map out if it’s only Tuesday? Depends. What are the consequences, if any at all. Don’t think beyond the day. Make a list of things you realistically can address in a day and move accordingly. And don’t forget to place yourself/passion into that list. You can’t prioritize without placing yourself in the equation.

3. Be flexible. While you may have a plan, life will always throw curve balls at you. Put your catcher’s mitt on and be ready for the unforeseen. You won’t always be able to address your passion daily, but you should keep an open door of flexibility in order to prioritize your passion accordingly.

4. Be responsive to YOURSELF. Sometimes you just have to tell mama and ’em that you can’t make that family event or the PTO meeting may just have to mark you absent for the month. There will be times that you will have to say NO. I know. I know. It’s not the nicest word, but it has to be said sometimes in order to be responsive to your own needs. If your happiness (or passion) consistently takes a backseat to the other responsibilities you have outside of yourself, there is no way you’ll be able to feel that whole happiness desired. Don’t slight yourself. Besides if you slight yourself you indirectly slight others.

These are just a few steps that I consider the foundation to creating a balance between your passion and life. Think of others steps that can help you maintain balance in your life. You want to be happy? You want to have those moments where you actually breathe? Find a balance. Practice that balance and watch it work!