I’ve struggled with balance since forever.
(and also, I apparently have a thing for sitting on tables and countertops in heels)
Through most of my 20s and 30s, I was harried and overly busy, disorganized, and unfocused. Juggling my career, my home, my marriage, my ministries, and eventually my babies, left me feeling drained and inadequate. I desperately wanted balance, but balance felt impossible. I remember looking at other women at work, at Target, in their cars passing by me, and I assumed they all knew something I didn’t. I was convinced I was the only one who couldn’t figure it out. I thought everyone had everything together, but me.
This was the 90s, so I couldn’t Google “balance” for answers. For half that decade I had stirrup pants and a spiral perm, but no Internet. (These were desperate times.) Yet, I was determined to crack the code. If there was a tip, a system, a secret ingredient to life-balance, I would uncover it.
Two decades of searching, and I still don’t have it all figured out. But I have learned a lot about what balance is and what balance is not. Turns out, there’s no secret ingredient, but there ARE healthy ways to approach life that lead to balance.
I want to share all the stuff I’ve learned. That’s why I write and speak.
As you read my posts or listen to my podcast, it won’t be long before you realize how flawed I am–I mostly use my flaws and mistakes as illustrations for showing how NOT to live a well-balanced life. If you want to feel better about yourself, stick around.
Ten Things About Me
1. I have been married to Jon for over 26 years. We refer to our marriage as “The Best 24 Years of Our Lives.” That’s because the first 2 years were really hard. For real–we almost didn’t make it. Marriage can still be hard, but I’m sure we’re going to make it, now. (Plus, I really like him —here’s 34 reasons why–and he’s totally hot. You can read about his unusual love language here. You can read about how much we’ve changed since we got married here. You can read 21 Things We’ve Learned in 21 Years of Marriage here.)
2. My oldest son, Noah, died suddenly and unexpectedly when he was 9 months old. (Would you believe me if I said this was not the same 2 years I described as “really hard” in item #1?) I would describe the year following Noah’s death as, “my worst fear come to life, except worse than I imagined it to be.” It was that bad. If I could point to one event in my life that shaped me, more than any other, it would be Noah’s death–without a doubt. (To read Noah’s story, click here.)
3.I have a 21-year-old biological daughter, born exactly 9 mos after the death of my son. She’s the reason I got out of bed, fed myself and went outside after Noah died. And–what in the actual heck?–she’s a real adult now. (To read my letter to Rebekah about real beauty, click here.)
4. I have 2 adopted children: Elijah, age 18 (domestic) and Elliana, age 13 (international). They taught me that biology has absolutely nothing to do with parental love. And they make me laugh (hard) every single day. (For Elijah’s adoption story click here. For Elliana’s adoption story, click here and here.)
5. I battled clinical depression most of my life, except I didn’t know it was depression until I nearly had a nervous breakdown—I just thought I was really crabby. (To read about my battle with depression, click here.)
6. I have been mostly depression-free since 2008. (Though, still sometimes crabby.) I’m super intentional about managing my depression with a combo of natural supplements and lifestyle choices. I write about that quite a bit around here. Here is one really popular depression post.
8. I love to cook. Eating healthy food has been one of my most successful strategies for fighting depression and anxiety. (For my cooking philosophy, click here)
9. I love home.
10. I love lists. (And parenthetical phrases.)
My Official Bio: (written in 3rd person, as if someone else wrote it)
Sandy Cooper is a Bible study teacher, podcaster, and writer. She helps frazzled women find peace.
She is the author of Finding Your Balance and Is the Voice in My Head God…or Just Me? (coming Septemeber 2020). She has been blogging since 2008 at thescooponbalance.com, and podcasts weekly at The Balanced MomCast. She recently moved back to Jacksonville, Florida with her family so she could live by the ocean until she dies.