Balancing the Buckets of Life

How do we know if the balance is right? How do we know that we are filling all of the buckets to the right level?

There are so many things to balance in life.  Family, career, self care, and social life, are just a few that seem to top off the list.  There’s sports and activities, chores and home projects, homework and rest, down time and screen time, relationships, and me time… okay that last one is funny- am I right?


How do we know if the balance is right? How do we know that we are filling all of the buckets to the right level? It’s a circus act in our house.  There is always a new challenge to work around, and it never quite feels like we are getting it right.  If there is a moment where we come up for air and feel like we are filling the buckets in the right order, a bucket spills, and in the blink of an eye we are back to trying “right the ship”.  We pull together as a team and bang out the yard work, just to come in to an extremely messy house (you know, a spilled bucket) and in an instant we are back at it.   If you’re living, you’re balancing.

As you grow you may find some buckets stay empty, because your priorities have shifted. You may be filling the career bucket a little more than the family bucket, so you try to make time to fill the family bucket, and you feel like you’re not putting enough in the career bucket.  It’s difficult to see the big picture when you’re constantly running around filling buckets.


When you’re young, it seems like time moves slower, and for some reason, you don’t worry as much about filling the buckets.  When I was young, I filled up my fun bucket a lot- maybe a little too much.  When I look back I’m glad I was filling that bucket up then, because now I have more buckets to fill, and my fun bucket is completely different. I look at our parents, who are now grandparents, and they have a way of filling the buckets so evenly… except the bucket they fill spending time with their grandchildren… that one is always overflowing.

It’s important to balance your life, but don’t get so caught up in trying to fill all the buckets.  This is what priorities are for. Sometimes you have to pick and choose where you focus your time, and the other stuff will have to wait. Do YOU, and balance what makes YOUR life work.


As phases of life pass by, everything changes. There will be a time for that bucket that may seem like its empty right now. Balancing means you’re working at it, little by little, and living your life.  At some point you’ll feel like you’re maintaining all of your buckets, and in an instant, one will spill. That’s life, actually.