Let’s Talk About Balance

by jennine on February 14, 2012

ballet shoes

We’re going to try something different here on The Coveted. Oddly enough, while much of my life occurs online, I haven’t really been so personal on the blogs.  I’ve been thinking about this for some time, and wondered if it were appropriate to change directions on this site.

It seems though that over the last five years of being hyper focused on creating a business with my blogs, I’ve lost the sense of balance.

The thing is, the modern woman comes across a lot of challenges, wanting to have an amazing career, an amazing family, an amazing life. While I’d like to say any of that just comes naturally or easy, it really hasn’t been the case for me. I’m a slow learner, and tend to like to learn things the hard way. Hence it’s easy to get caught up chasing after one dream at the expense of the other dreams. I’m the obsessive type who just gets hell bent on finding happiness in one particular thing. Being thin, (didn’t make me happy) success (happy for a minute) having a relationship (he makes me happy, but I’m still crazy) having an amazing job (still need to improve). It’s just hard to see the big picture with that personality trait. It’s also hard to let go a little for fear of falling behind.

But in the spirit of learning things the hard way, I’ve been feeling exhausted with everything that’s been going on, the non-stop chatter online, the constant stimulation. Was it the sign of burning out? What? I couldn’t be online 24/7 for the rest of my life?

After taking a step back, it became obvious I wasn’t so much feeling burned out, but feeling like there was more to life than work. Even if you love what you do, it’s also important to try new things, to keep things fresh, and I just wasn’t doing them. I’m just not doing them now. It’s important, maybe a yoga class? Lounging around the house on a Sunday afternoon? Meeting up with friends? Trying a new hobby?

So I guess, this is a start of a conversation… do you struggle with balance in your life? What do you do that gives you the most sense of harmony with everything that’s going on?


Image by katelyn.marie.photography



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DWJ February 14, 2012 at 11:58 am

I struggled with balance for a long time and then my father got pancreatic cancer (and survived it) and then after he recovered I lost my job. What matters most in life was put into perspective for me and what I wanted in my career came into sharper focus when I lost my job. I make better choices, decisions based on how will they affect my life? How will they affect my husband? Some things I stopped, some things I wrapped up because I won’t want to do them again and some things had to slow down. It’s hard to find balance but once you focus on what you truly want in life, you can make room for it and the rest of the stuff doesn’t matter.
DWJ´s last [type] ..NYX Cosmetics Butt “Naked” Eye Palette

jennine February 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Oh my goodness, I remember your father’s battle with cancer, I didn’t know about your job. But you’re right about making the time for things that do matter, forgetting the rest, it’s just easy to get REALLY caught up in some of those things we think matters a great deal.

emma February 14, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Hi Jennie. Your post has really touched a nerve with me. Running my own business I know how hard it can be to take time out for yourself. I always get that that awful feeling of guilt that I should be working all the time, otherwise it means I’m not really committed, right? It is hard to take time out but I make sure I do at least a couple of times a week - to see friends or go to the gym at least. Your choice of picture is quite apposite too as one of the most relaxing things I have ever done was take a weekly ballet class - I was awful but there is something about all that (attempted) poise and control that makes you feel a million times more relaxed when you leave. Great for the bottom too :)
Anyway I wish you lots of luck in slowing down a little - it is so important you do.
Emma x

jennine February 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm

oh my goodness, tell me about the guilt of not working on your business! working hard really makes a difference, but you do have to take time!

i tried to take a ballet class once, i had to duck out the back as it was too hard for my clutzy feet!

emma February 15, 2012 at 6:50 am

hope you find something that works for you. keep us updated

em x

emma February 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Sorry, of course I meant Jennine. That is online spell checkers for you!

Joy February 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm

It’s so hard balancing the blog, school and then leave enough time for family and friends. I don’t know how you ladies do this!
Joy´s last [type] ..Menswear Mondays ft. Jacques Henri Lartigue

Bella Q, The Citizen Rosebud February 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I’ve been feeling the very same thing, so it’s really good to see/read that you’re dealing with the same feelings. Balance and real life is key. I’ve worked so hard, and love the community I’ve stumbled onto, online through blogging but realized that I’ve cut this huge part out of my life- interests that have nothing to do with fashion or writing or being online. Therefore 2012 is not just about being more authentic but about pursuing balance. I’m planning of working on being more integrated into my life not just developing some aspect of it.

I appreciate all the hard work you’ve done online, because of you via IFB, I found community and a place to meet like minded people. You, a stranger have had such a positive impact on me. I wish you much success in your balancing act.
Bella Q, The Citizen Rosebud´s last [type] ..CITIZEN LOVES: Lindsay Rickman

jennine February 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm

thank you so much… really.
but yeah, being more authentic and achieving a balance is one of those things that always seems to be out of reach, but that doesn’t mean that either virtue isn’t worth striving for!

life/style/flash. February 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I think balance is something we all struggle to achieve - we strive more for ‘perfection’ than we do for real happiness.

What we think we want isn’t always actually what we want at all.

I’m keen to start a new hobby and am looking at some options. I think that will help bring more harmony to my life and stop me from either rushing around in the evenings, or slobbing around doing nothing at all.
life/style/flash.´s last [type] ..My thoughts on TOWIB [The Only Way Is Blogging]

Pam @over50feeling40 February 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm

What I would say to those of you younger than I, which is probably everyone else who reads your blog, is to concentrate on the human relationships in your life…life goes by so quickly…before you know it the people around you are gone. I am now an empty nester and it seems just like yesterday that my children were little. At the end of my life, I want to treasure the time I had with family and close friends, more than the relationship I had with a computer. I do not want to sound harsh. The friends I have made through my blog are precious, but I wish so much I had more time with friends or family who have now passed on. If I have a choice to be with the important people in my life, or my blog….I will choose the people everytime. Laughter, joy, time with the people around you is critical and passes by before you know it. If you sense you need to walk away from a job in order to enjoy the ones you love….then I say DO IT! You are a strong confident woman who does not need to overwork for validation ….go laugh with the ones you love!!
Pam @over50feeling40´s last [type] ..EBEW Valentine’s: Pink, Red, Blessings, Winner!!

jennine February 14, 2012 at 8:40 pm

i see what you’re saying, recently my grandfather died, and when it came right down to it, i really wish i could have spent more time with him. spending time together is so important and yet it slips away so quickly.

Absolutely Mrs. K (@AbsolutelyMrsK) February 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I think redirecting your blog is inevitable. I am a blogger for one year now and I am 33 years old. When I started I wanted to be an outfit blogger, but lately I want to show more of my life! I think I completely understand you, went on a diet, wanted to get a master degree cum laude from a top notch university, wanted to be a manager! I all have that, step by step but still am looking for some change! That is why I started the blog: to do something with fashion and I needed another goal! But the www has become an addiction, I always think that I miss something if I cannot follow twitter every single minute of the day! I need to let go and my beau sais: Kim there are more important things in life! Maybe it is our generation, we always want more and more. And people are telling us that you are the reason for your own success! This neoliberal thought does scare me, it is a rat race and where is it going to end! But in the end I am addicted to blogging… PS I don’t have children

lisa February 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Balance was one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2012. Last year I was so caught up in trying to impress at my new job, succeed as a freelance writer and still maintain my blog that I let my well-being fall by the wayside, specifically fitness and eating well. This year I’m trying to stick to a regular schedule of salsa and yoga so I don’t feel sluggish and burnt out.
lisa´s last [type] ..Palladium Madness

the clothing menu February 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm

This is a really great point. It’s so easy these days to get consumed by work and the online world. You have to definitely be conscious about what you are spending your time on in order to keep that balance. For me, when I leave the office, I’m done with work for the day. I don’t check emails until I’m back in the next day. And for my blog, last year it did start to consume my life so I actually took a 3 month break from it to decide what I wanted to do. I realized after that break that I wanted to continue working on it, but figured out a way to manage my time better by being better about scheduling my posts and dedicating set periods of time where I focus on reading blogs and tweets instead of doing them all the time.
the clothing menu´s last [type] ..Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ashley February 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I think balance is such a big thing that is pushed on women. And it often seems like it’s yet another thing that we’ll struggle with and fight to have. Like the tiny body, the dream job and perfect man, it just might not exist. I don’t know of anyone who has true balance. We’re all, always struggling to make some aspect of our lives as perfect as the other.

When it comes to blogs… this past January I went through my reader and deleted 70% of what was there. So much of it is content that I cannot relate to and often fluctuates wildly between too one sided (how many outfit posts can I see?!) to way over share-y (I’m sorry - did you just show my close ups of your water birth on a fashion blog?!).

So I don’t know what this means… I guess what I’m getting at is that balance might be as elusive a myth as the Loch Ness Monster. Going after ‘balance’ might just drive you nuts in the process. As far as changing content on the blog… do what feels right. You’ve got such a loyal following and you’ve always been interesting to me. I’m sure many will stick around to see what you do no matter what.

Ashley´s last [type] ..I Now Interrupt Your Regular Programming…

fajr February 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm

I totally share this sentiment. I often feel that my life is nothing but my ambition or my career and that I’m neglecting things like a serious relationship.

I try to balance but my attention ultimately always goes back to writing. I try to remember that I am doing what I love and keep balance by not being too hard on myself. I have great friendships and family and I guess that’s what my life is meant for now.

I’m learning to go with the flow.
fajr´s last [type] ..How I Became a Reformed Party Girl

jennine February 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm

having great friends and family and a great career sounds like an amazingly balanced life to me! you’re young, and i’m sure the serious relationship is just around the corner! i’m sure of it!

Eunice February 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I agree. it is a tough balance. you are constantly trying to be as up to date as possible, so you are constantly feeding yourself new information, inspiration, etc. etc. or just simply getting business done.

But my resolution was to take a yoga class because it is quiet and i am forced to not deal with anything related to blogging, pinning, runways, reading up on the latest thing, etc.

let me know how it works out for you. i would love to know :)
Eunice´s last [type] ..happy valentine’s day!

Sheena February 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Loving this topic! I completely agree that balance is hard to find when you are trying to succeed at doing so much. Like you said, you can become hellbent on trying to succeed at that one thing. I hadn’t really thought much about balance until my mom (!) told me that I needed to slow down and enjoy myself more. Between grad school, working full time and planning my next stage in life, there hasn’t been time for much else.

So I’ve decided that for one day a week, I am not looking at any type of screen except for my phone and that will only be to make important phone calls. Other than that I am unplugging for 24 hours to do whatever I like. Part of me feels that I’m not being productive because I could be using that time to catch up on so much, but I feel like it’s the best thing at this point.
Sheena´s last [type] ..Winter Playlist

Marguerite/@chicspace February 14, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Let me challenge the concept of balance. I don’t know if there’s balance, really….having many things going at once, all at the right levels, whatever those levels are, if one even knows. I think it’s more about being open to change…sometimes it’s more about people, sometimes more about business, sometimes more about fashion, sometimes more about alone time. Knowing what is needed, and by whom (you? family?) and being able to respond or direct your time in a way that makes you feel good. And taking the time to understand those endeavors that make you feel good, those that don’t, and focusing on the first and getting rid of the second.

style-delights(Jyoti) February 15, 2012 at 12:17 am

I agree with you that taking a step back and look at the big picture is very important to find a touchstone! You are a successful businesswoman so its easy to imagine you feel the ‘loss of balace’ in career and personal life, but believe me, this sense of ‘lost’ can occur for anybody! As a stay at home mom (a career person all along before the baby), I get this restlessness and feel that I am losing my ‘balance’ and focusing to much on my MOM personality! But doing what I love, taking one moment at a time and planning my priorities gives me a sense of ‘surety’ in life!
Great post!!

Style-Delights Blog
Let’s Twitter Together
style-delights(Jyoti)´s last [type] ..5 Things To Do This Valentine’s Day (Besides The Obvious!)

Andre February 15, 2012 at 1:08 am

interesting… most people go online on weekly basis just a few years back :)

christina February 15, 2012 at 10:06 am

wow! first of all what a great read. I hear you. I work two jobs, one full time and one close to full-time. Not because I have to, because I found two things that I really like and am pretty good at and can’t seem to give one of them up! My husband is the same way. Between two people, we have four jobs! It’s nuts. We’re always running past one another, moving in opposite directions, attending different events and the weekends are no different. At some point, this is going to have to slow down but I can’t see that far ahead. We are forcing ourselves to spend Valentine’s together tonight, but our relationship is happy and we love being together, we just also value that we are independent and successful people. Anyway, balance! Where is it? I try to stop and smell the roses and the only way to do that is to walk away from the phone, the computer, tv, anything that requires electricity and I knit. It’s my renaissance skill that requires no modern technology and I am able to get cute new hats every few months. Whew this has been a good vent session ladies. I’ll leave you with one my favorite short animations appropriately titled Balance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZiEt5RUYSk&feature=related
christina´s last [type] ..When Worlds Collide

Tonia February 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I thought I was the only person would felt this way…seems I’m not. However, I’m not sure if there really is balance, there is always something that is going to be more more important than the next. I believe it’s about doing things according to real priority— by taking a good look at the situation and not sweating the small stuff.

My Styleadvisor February 16, 2012 at 6:10 am

Yes, I totally get what you’re saying. I guess it all boils down to a proper work- life balance that everybody has to get sorted out for themselves really. Taking time off, and I mean not in front of the computer, is very important. What’s good for you or me may not be good for someone else. Sometimes things like the birth of a child or an illness can help put things into perspective and you will automatically see what’s important for you and what’s not so important.
My Styleadvisor´s last [type] ..Pick of the Day: COS Peplum Waist Top

For Those About To Shop February 16, 2012 at 8:50 am

I made a conscious decision a couple of years ago to have exactly the life that I wanted which included doing what I want when I want. I completely scaled back on all my expenses so I would have the luxury of working part-time and having lots of time to focus on my children and myself. I spend at least an hour a day to myself pampering myself or doing nothing or just browsing in a book shop, playing piano, writing in my journal, meditating. Often that hour is much more and I have spent up to half a day unplugged and sitting quietly just being with myself. Self-awareness is the most important thing in life and it allows us to contribute to others and the world in a meaningful way. I refuse to be rushed or do anything out of obligation anymore. Career is just not important to me at all and I wonder why it ever was. What matters to me is love and relationships and being useful to my fellow human beings. Most people get to the end of their lives and regret working too much; nobody regrets loving too much or spending too much time with friends and family.
For Those About To Shop´s last [type] ..Ab Fab for Alexis Bittar

Reima February 16, 2012 at 10:46 am


You should try a yoga class, it is nice path to find your inner balance, it could change your life completely. I couldn’t beautifully describe it and English is not my native language, but after reading this post I feel like this is the best option for you right now. I am attending yoga classes in Kiev for almost a year and feel like it helps me a lot on the path of building harmony in all aspects of my life, keeping balanced physical and mental growth & finding inner peace!

Good luck, Jennie!
Reima´s last [type] ..Магазин Детской Одежды

Jen February 16, 2012 at 11:42 am

I agree with the older poster here earlier…I fear that when people talk about seeking “balance”, what they are really trying to find is a way to do everything but still be happy and unstressed out. I think that once you decide that the people in your life are more important than doing ANYTHING, you can decide what stays and what goes from your schedule of obligations. Because nothing else matters. at all. yes, we have to work to earn money, and yes, we have activities we enjoy, but your career does not define you, what you wear does not define you, what you do for fun does not define you - they may be aspects of your life but what you are to other people is what defines you. what kind of friend, spouse, parent, daughter, etc. Once you are comfortable with that, nothing else will seem so drop-dead important and I think it will make how you spend your days much easier to determine. It is not easy to simplify sometimes because it can be hard to gracefully get out from under some of the roles and obligations we’ve undertaken for ourselves, but once you do, you’ll wonder why you waited so long or even felt guilty about it!

Amber February 17, 2012 at 12:31 am

I def understand where you are coming from, I am actually struggling with this right now. I am working towards my dreams and goals with my blog and online shop to the point where I don’t do anything else. I am literally up on the computer late nights (like right now) and missing out on life because I am obsessed with becoming successful at what I do. The only time I spend time out is if its for my business, where I now do freelance work, and nothing else. It gets me down at times…..I think about it a lot. I guess I have programmed myself into that work now play later mentality. There are very few times when I do go out and have fun and even then I’m like…whoa I could be creating editorials for my blog instead of at the bar sipping a martini. Deep down I just really don’t want to be sixty years old and broke lol I want to find my path now while I am young.

jesse.anne.o February 20, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Holy yes. I get like this with my full time job (it’s a non-profit for a cause I believe in deeply) and I feel guilty for burning out on it. I do my blog to keep me from *only* focusing on the cause. I have been trying to add fitness goals in because I do find that exercise really works out the demons and makes me feel better - it seems to make me feel like I have a decent level of self-care.

I don’t think my life will ever be fully balanced. There will always be more that I want to do but don’t have the time for. I just need to feel like I’m prioritizing it right.
jesse.anne.o´s last [type] ..One Room School Marm

ash February 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm

This is one of the coolest blog posts I have seen in awhile. I’m constantly reminding people that balance is not really existence, it’s more living to your full potential and being your true self. This can with out a doubt be discovered through meditation practices and yoga. I am a yoga teacher and nothing aligns your life better than alone time and silence.

Love ,

Kate February 23, 2012 at 12:22 am

Wow. This is a great post. I definitely have trouble with balance-I find it super-difficult to prioritize. Throw multiple social media platforms into the mix of work, social life, exercise, sleep, cooking, blogging, and it can get super-overwhelming. Thanks for your honesty.

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