Nailing the Balance Between Play and Responsibility

Emilie Hoffman, mind/body guide

I have at many points in my life not looked forward to my weekend because I couldn't find a balance between play and responsibility. 

1. I would be pulled in so many directions with obligations, over-scheduling, and crossed boundaries all week that I had to do all of my personal responsibility self-care stuff all weekend and didn't have time or energy for play. 

2. I totally ignored my personal responsibility self-care stuff and did a bunch of random whatever "fun" things, but it never felt that fun and didn't recharge me because the whole time my personal responsibilities were nagging me from the back of my mind. 

Does this sound at all familiar, and if so, have you been telling yourself that it's happening because you're bad at organizing, you're too easily overwhelmed, or you just suck at doing life?

Well, here are some other possibilities to consider:

You're conflating responsibility and commitment with obligation, coercion, or oppression.

You're conflating play with frivolity. 

Your life has too much stuff in it - like literally too many physical possessions to take care of by yourself.

You work a job (or have a business) that doesn't currently offer the flexibility you need to take care of personal things during business hours (like finances and health items).

Your childcare resources are too limited.

You're committed to too many mental efforts in which you are managing or directly trying to influence other people.

You see life as a chain of problems that need to be resolved before you can make time to have real fun.

You blame other people for sucking up all your time and energy.

You're trying to do really complicated things all by yourself and you know that you're not doing the best job possible, but you won't to pay someone or ask someone for help.  

You tell yourself that doing anything you enjoy before you go to work in the morning is impossible and/or "sounds horrible because I'd have to get up early."

You know what your favorite places and activities are, but you never go there or do them because that would "take too much time and effort." 

You've been taught that coping, coping, coping is the "normal" way to live when you're "in this phase of life."

You equate stress with success. 

You've been taught that healthy, happy, successful people are all about self-control and hard work.

You've been taught that the feelings of ease and deep satisfaction only come in small, passing moments at the end of the day or when a big project is finished. 

You want to avoid fear, but you're unclear about what you're trying to pursue. 

You don't even realize that you can change something big about your life that isn't allowing you to expand the most enjoyable aspects of yourself.

Do any of those ideas resonate?

That's just my short list of everything that was and sometimes still is true about me and the people I'm working with that keeps us from looking forward to or really being present during our days "off." 

If you're having trouble enjoying the time reserved to live into yourself and connect with your world in your most meaningful way, then I know you're not feeling super great. But, I can also tell you this is a very shift-able state of affairs.  

The truth is, play is responsible and responsibility can be playful. 

It just depends on how you define those things, how you feel those things, how you understand those things, and what your relationship is to them (and yourself!). 

So, let's look at some new (potentially very helpful) perspectives:

Responsibility can simply mean owning your contribution and staying in integrity with the role you want/need to play in your own life. 

Commitment can mean getting clear on your priorities and values  and acting in accordance all. the. time. 

Play is absolutely necessary for humans at any age. It's how we test our own edges without risking too much. 

Prioritize tender love and care over acquisition regarding all your possessions. If you can't take care of it, you may need to let it go. 

Stop trying to SQUEEEZZEEE everything in. (This is as much a message for me as anyone else). There are good, better and best times and timeframes at which and in which to do most things. Aim for the best in all things. 

It does indeed take a village to raise a child. 

It takes a crap ton of energy to be invested in how other people live and perceive their own lives. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries my friend. 

It's your life. Figure out how to enjoy it (not avoid it) as much as possible. Your "problems" are just opportunities for change, and change can be delightful. Every watched a caterpillar become a butterfly? 

Other people do not suck things from you. You give those things away. 

Just ask for help, already! Here's a great strategy: find help to figure out the help that's going to be best for you and then get a second opinion and then go with your gut. If you're feeling guilty about spending money on help, ask yourself what not  getting that help is going to cost you in the long run. 

Getting up early is the jam, IMO. Don't knock it before you try it. P.S. it's even better if you quit consuming caffeine - don't underestimate the power of a natural cortisol rush at sunrise. 

If your favorite places and activities revitalize you, build resilience and endurance to strengthen your commitments for all things (including play and responsibility) then those things are like daily vitamins. Just do it and then ride that energetic wave. 

There is no phase of life that is only about coping, hunkering, enduring a bunch of BS, etc.... There are only phases of life in which we feel the twinge of a call for change or the upheaval of transformation. 

Security = success. That being said, security does most certainly NOT equal complacency.  

Healthy, happy, successful people are all about values, self-integrity, commitment, gratitude, allowing and alignment.

When you make life about the process rather than the product, the feelings of ease and deep satisfaction come often and abundantly. 

It is possible to work from a creative space and have steady focus on what you are pursuing. Mind/body coaching is tremendously helpful in distilling and instilling those things.  

You can always change something big about your life that isn't allowing you to expand the most enjoyable aspects of yourself. Choice = Empowerment.

If you want to dive into this with me one-on-one, here's a link to schedule some free time chatting with me. 

I've been so enjoying my one-on-one sessions. Even though I'm a true introvert, I'm totally lit up by every single interaction of self-exploration and clarity of personal essence I have the honor of leading. 

If you're someone I've had the pleasure of working with one-on-one, thank you. You rock. Your curiosity sparks hope. Your openness allows the whole world to be more true to itself. Your character is strong. Your changes anchored in love ripple outward forever.

Xx, Emilie 

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