Finding balance

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- With the recent increase in operations at Incirlik, balancing work and personal responsibilities such as taking care of our families, finances, and health can be challenging at times. However, in order to reach mission success as effective Airmen and leaders we must find and maintain a healthy life balance.

As a first sergeant, a lot of Airmen talk to me about the struggle of balancing their personal life and their career. I absolutely understand and can relate because I also struggle to find balance between the two. I understand how trying to balance work, home, fitness and personal downtime can seem nearly impossible and it can quickly turn into another task to be managed. 
Balancing all aspects of life and work can definitely make you feel like you are getting pulled in all directions. 

With the holidays fast approaching, it is more important than ever to take a timeout and do something for ourselves. In order for Airmen to do so, they must first understand that the concept of achieving balance is part of the problem.

The idea of balance means everything in our lives gets equivalent time and attention. Life was never meant to be that way. I think there are times in our lives when certain things may take on a more important role, but it must rotate, or at least increase and decrease in proper intervals so all aspects of your life are tended to. 

Once the concept of balance is understood, Airmen must identify what their 'balance' looks like.  It differs for each person and mostly depends on what they are looking to achieve. For example, an airman who just came back from a deployment may have different priorities (such as spending more time with family and friends) than an airman who has not deployed. While my priorities may be different from someone else's, everyone should know and understand what is needed in order to achieve their personal balance.

I believe the Air Force has come a long way in ensuring we know and understand that these demands exist, but I also believe it is up to each person to ensure the knowledge is implemented. Everyone's equilibrium in life varies, but the ability to recognize imbalance is an important step to effectively managing your stability. 

Most importantly, make your happiness the priority in the balance of your life. We cannot control what is thrown at us throughout the day but we can control the way we react to it. You are the only one who can ultimately create satisfaction or dissatisfaction in your life.