Finding your Balance Published Nov. 7, 2012 By By Col. Allison Bowden Commander, 45th Medical Group PATRICK AFB, Fla. -- As a commander and throughout my Air Force career, I have observed a lot. One thing that I've noticed is that our people sometimes need help finding a way to achieve balance in their lives. Some questions they are trying to answer are, "How do I balance needs of my spouse and needs of the Air Force?" "How do I balance my day-to-day duties with PT, professional military education, and school?" "How do I balance the roles of parent/airman/friend/spouse and still have time left for me?" As we progress through life, there are more and more things competing for our time and attention and threatening to throw off our balance. I like to think of a good balance in four areas: work, family, personal, spiritual. Like four tires on a car, if one of these goes flat, we're not going to get very far. And we wouldn't plan a 500 mile trip when our tank only gets us 400 miles. You have to stop sometimes and fill up your tank. Maintaining a good balance keeps you on the right track and brings you to your desired destination. As elusive as balance can seem, there are a few things we can do to help us find our balance. One important quality people need is the ability to communicate well with others, and themselves, about their capabilities and limits. A second quality essential to achieving balance is the ability to focus on what's important today. With such full lives, there is the tendency to spend much of our time worrying about something that happened yesterday or things on the horizon which leaves very little of our mental energy for the here and now. All that time spent worrying keeps us stopped when the light is green. Lastly, I've learned that the most important quality, is the attitude with which we approach our lives and obstacles that come our way. Take care of yourself today and take care of each other. Find your balance and make sure you reach your destination.