You guys remember our guest writer Katie Everhart Wight? Well, she’s baaack — and sharing some of her latest Fit Bottomed adventures and breakthroughs, including this post on what it means to find balance! Katie lives in Kansas City with her mister and two furry friends. She earned her Communication Studies degree with a double emphasis in Film and Media Studies & Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 2009. She completed her Masters in Library and Information Sciences in 2015 from the University of Central Missouri. Katie also loves spending time with family, traveling, and being outdoors — and she’s discovering what leading a Fit Bottomed Girls lifestyle really means. She’s pretty sure it’s okay to love coffee and chocolate if you balance them out with long dog walks. And we tend to agree.
Learning to Find Balance
Has anyone ever said you need more of the B-word in your life? No one told me, but I could feel it.
Yeah, I’m talking about balance.
For the past 3.5 years I’ve been working full-time, pursuing a 54-hour masters program, playing mom to two athletic dogs, a wife to an understanding husband, a daughter to loving parents and a sister to several rockin’ siblings. I tried my hardest to keep every area in my life balanced. But, I just didn’t have all of the pieces perfect on my pie chart. I had to turn down meet-ups with friends, say goodbye to my husband after dinner and retreat upstairs for another night of homework, tell my dogs I couldn’t take them for a long walk, walk by my vacuum cleaner and look past the dog hair tumbleweeds, and put aside reading and writing for pleasure.
When you work full time and pursue a degree, of any kind, something’s gotta give. I like to think I did a pretty good job of being there for my loved ones, but I definitely wasn’t there for myself and I felt it. I had to let go of many things I enjoyed to make time for the priorities. My house was never as presentable as I would’ve liked. I constantly felt like I had dozens of open tabs in my brain of dates, deadlines and to-dos. I developed heart palpitations and had ongoing un-diagnosable chest pains, most likely caused by anxiety. I had a few, what I call, emotional breakdowns. To be fair, I had several difficult factors influencing the stress in my personal life, but I was definitely working beyond a comfortable level.
But I’m happy to say that I finished my program in December and am working on the B-word!
I had to leave my full time job last semester in order to complete a required full-time, unpaid internship. My husband and family were very supportive. Thus, when the semester came to an end, so did my career — temporarily. I spent a lovely Christmas break with my family. When January hit, I really began to think about what I wanted in life and from the days ahead. I needed time to rejuvenate.
I realized one glaring hurdle in my life — the unorganized piles that had accumulated within my house. I’m not talking a hoarding situation. But, piles that block my brain from ever feeling truly at peace. My husband and I come from families of collectors. For that I’m grateful because I have so much of my life saved through photos and mementos.
It also means we ended up with tubs and tubs of stuff.
People love giving me things. Maybe they know their stuff is in good hands — or perhaps they see a sucker who won’t say no. When our neighbor moved last year she asked if we wanted any furniture. I happily agreed to take a few pieces, which turned into several. Then, I literally came home from work one day to a porch full of bags and boxes of stuff. We kept hauling things inside because we wanted to help her. Many of these things went into our basement, never to been seen again … until now! I made it my priority to open boxes, bags, and tubs and clean, sort, toss, and donate. After two donation pickups I’m certainly getting somewhere. I’m also allowing us to keep anything we really want. A large part of finding balance in your life is first clearing out the blockage.
I’m also making time for reading and writing again. I’m embarrassed to say I purchased a book nearly two years ago (The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet) and am just now getting around to reading it. I grabbed it off of my shelf not only because I wanted to finally read it, but also because I’ve been longing for a healthier lifestyle.
After spending the last few years sitting at a desk staring at a screen all day and coming home each night to do the same thing, my body is feeling off. So I picked it up for healthy eating and exercise tips.
And wouldn’t ya know it, there’s an entire chapter dedicated to finding balance in your life! As the FBGs say: “we want you to do the things you enjoy, that bring you energy, and that leave you with a zest for life!” I’m also finding balance by setting personal goals, which is another chapter, but they’re all rooted together.
Walking my dogs, reading books, writing, and spending time with loved ones are all things I enjoy and leave me feeling happy and full of life. All FBGs need balance and while there’s no perfect formula, I’m fortunate to finally be finding what it means to me.
P.S. It feels ah-mazing!
How are you making space in your life to find better balance? —Katie Everhart Wight