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Stephanie Marston is America's Foremost Life Balance Expert

Issue 8 August 2005

Take Stock of Your Life

So you say you want your life to be different, better, more fulfilling? Who doesn’t? How many times have you heard yourself say, “I wish I had more time for myself?’ “This stress is killing me.” “I have to start to exercise and get in better shape.” “I feel like my kids are getting the short end of the stick.” “My husband says that my side of the bed looks more like a command center than a place to relax.” “I feel like I’m moving at warp speed and I still can’t get through my “to do” list.” “I want my life to be more fun. I need to be more playful.” Sound familiar?

To put it another way, does your life feel chaotic and out of control? Do you continually feel overwhelmed and overextended? Is there too much to do and never enough time to do it? Do you feel like the low person on the totem pole when it comes to getting your needs met? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you’re in good company. Join the millions of women who are planning to run away from home by signing up for the first civilian flight to the moon!

But all kidding aside, whether you’re a stay at home mom managing a household, a career woman who is balancing work and family, a single mom who is trying to fill in all the gaps or a woman who’s simply tired of feeling like she’s living a “treadmill existence” you have a choice—you can create a life you love. However this means slowing down to reevaluate your values and priorities and making considered choices about how you’re going to invest your time and energy.

The first step in doing this is to look back over your life, not with a critical eye, but rather to discover the connecting thread that gives your life rhythm and meaning. In recalling our lives we re-collect ourselves. We gather together our forgotten priorities and passions. Yet in order to do this you have to know who you are and what truly matters.

You have to ask, what do I love? What are my core values and beliefs? What are my own needs and desires? How can I create a life that fits exactly who I am now, not who I’ve been? This understanding will provide you with a chance for reevaluation and if need be for course corrections.

If you’re going to create the life you were meant to live you must unearth the secret wishes and values that will lead you back to the vibrant, passionate, vital woman you were destined to be.