When The CLUTCH asked me to write my 1st article, a million things run through my mind on which passion to feature or what topic to focus on. It seemed fitting to write a signature piece featuring what my blog, Handstand Happiness, is all about. Not only is it sort of an introduction into who I am and all the things I love, but it went right along with something I started reading on vacation last week.
I have always been a very energetic person that chooses to go, go, go and do, do, do. Essentially, I am a “yes” person and I hate to let people down. However, I am FINALLY, at the age of 32 with 2 young boys and all these “things” that I love, figuring out how to say “No” more and more. Last week, I started reading “For the Love” by Jen Hatmaker, and in the 1st chapter she talks about how we cannot do everything well and that is okay. God has given us all specific gifts and passions, and we GET to choose what stays on our “balance beam” in our lives. And the things that we aren’t so great at or that don’t serve us, well…they have to go. There isn’t room for it all. And I am constantly feeling pulled to let something go, but these are the things that fill me up and make me who I am. They are the things that give me life.
So, before I tell you about these things that I am “balancing,” just know that the term is relative. There will always be something that is outweighing another in priority, and I may lose my balance, but knowing that if I fall flat on my face, I WILL get back up. The top things in my life, just so happen to all begin with an “F”:
FAITH: This is a tough one, am I right!? Yet for me, it is definitely the MOST important piece to my life. If I completely drop the ball on this one then, “Good luck on your own, Shana. Not looking good.” But why is it that I have to constantly reset and remind myself to sit in His Presence and be restored and revived? I don’t know, but it’s worth it. It is the thing that fills me the most but it’s also the thing that can be easily pushed to the back burner because we know that God has no minimum or deadline. He is always there and we know that, and life gets busy and people need us and we get distracted, but He is still there and that is even more of a reason to give him just a little or big slice of our day to be with Him.
FAMILY: This includes friendship. And may be a no brainer, but it’s the people that matter most in my life. It’s the people that deserve quality time and the people that fill you up. I’ve realized with age that nobody has time for draining friends, drama and meaningless relationships. Personal opinion, obviously.
FITNESS: This is a daily priority for me. Always has been. From growing up in multiple sports to playing in college and then becoming interested in group exercise and activities of all kinds, such as boot camps, running, yoga, cycling…must I go on. One thing that drives me is community and accountability. You will not find me in a box gym alone. I thrive on encouragement and support. It’s what keeps me going and I hope that each day I am able to encourage and support someone else whether it’s sweating beside them or leading a class. Fitness for me is much more than physical, it is honestly just a part of my life, a routine that’s part of each day in some form or another. It’s easiest to find something you actually enjoy and something that energizes you and gives you life. For me, that’s yoga, running, and Madabolic, currently. My favorite time to work out is early morning before the kids are awake. I may be half asleep when I get there, but it gets me going. It gives me energy and it puts me in a better mood. Trust me…if you run into me and I’m in a terrible mood, chances are I haven’t worked out for the day yet, so get me to a class or out on the trail asap!
FASHION: I will blame my obsession with fashion and shopping on my mom and older sister. It began with their influence at a young age and was always such a fun thing to do together. Plus, it is something I can do on my own time or put on the back burner when needed (due to time or finances..yikes!). I truly believe if you feel good about what you are wearing, you will have a better day. Shopping is truly a hobby, whether it’s at one of our awesome local boutiques here in Greenville or online. I love to shop with my friends or for my friends. I find joy in finding cute outfits, things that look good on others and things that make them feel good in the skin they are wearing. Believe it or not, clothes can be inspiring. The changing of seasons is a super fun time to start putting outfits together and seeing how many different ways you can utilize the pieces that are already in your closet, while mixing in some new ones. These are my fashion tidbits: I love a sale. Clothes should not be uncomfortable. Layering is key (because I’m freezing one second and sweating the next). You can never have too much black in your closet. Animal prints and camo never go out of style, am I right?!
Life is best in balance, however that’s not reality for most of us. In the end, if you miss a day, or skip a beat, wear a bad outfit, or breakdown and cry one morning, just don’t beat yourself up. We are all struggling to stay on our balance beam. You’ve got this. You just have to figure out what works for you, what serves you, and what fills you up. Get rid of the rest. If you haven’t read “For the Love” by Jen Hatmaker, I HIGHLY recommend it!
“Embracing your life is not a passive activity” – Crystal Hurst
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” –John 10:10