Sometimes the demands of one part of our life, work or family, consume us. Sometimes because of a crisis, sometimes because of a spike in workload or children’s sports or…, sometimes just because we become depleted.

These days, mobile devices link us 24/7 to the office, our bosses, employees, and coworkers. We are, as I heard it said recently, living in time poverty. Now more than ever, it may be necessary to pause, regroup, and allow ourselves to do something counterintuitive; listen to music, go sailing, jogging, practice yoga, make pottery, or go for a walk.

Why counterintuitive? Because our responsible self says, stay with it, do the work, finish the project, take care of the sick loved one, etc. We tell ourselves it’s selfish to do something for ourselves “at a time like this.”

If we think of our lives as a three-legged stool….when one leg is gone, it won’t balance and falls over. We can’t just go back and forth between the pressures of work and family. This where the third leg, a completely different activity, one that is ours alone, comes in.

At the height of World War II, when the pressures were immense, President Roosevelt would escape to his stamp collection for an hour or so, doing something completely different. General George Marshall would ride horseback many mornings to relieve the pressures of building and leading an army of 8 million.

Consider this —

  • What is your third stool leg to balance your life?
  • How often are you trying to balance on only two legs?
  • How might you feel if all three legs were grounded on most days?
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