Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Finding balance



I’ve been thinking about writing about the topic of finding balance for a long time. And since I guess you could call this my resolution for the year, I thought this might be a good time to bring it up. I’ve had this increasingly nagging feeling over the last year or so that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. A feeling like not everything on my list of things had been accomplished. It felt like there was something missing that I wasn’t getting to, causing me to feel frustrated and anxious at times. And that feeling only grew over the holidays as obligations for work and even my social life began to pile up. It wasn’t until the last present was put away and the last champagne flute was cleaned that I started to feel a sense of calm and equilibrium come over me. I have suspected this for a long time and it’s clear to me now, more so than ever, looking over the past year, which was wonderful in so many regards, that I didn’t really carve out enough time for myself. My schedule became so full, so fast that I never really took the time to examine it and ask myself if this was truly the way I wanted to be spending my time. I just went with it. And now, as a full-fledged adult living on my own for officially six and a half years, it seems that I’ve finally come to the realization that I am the person who sets my priorities and decides how I spend my time. If I want it to be different, I have to change it, which is where the idea of finding balance comes in.

As a former figure skater, the concept is not lost on me that even though everything can feel like it is moving really fast, if you have balance, you can achieve great things. Beautiful things. Given the fact that my life will probably stay really busy and hectic, the best thing I can do to make sure I am doing everything that I WANT to do, is to make priorities and allocate an amount of time that seems appropriate for that particular priority, whether it is spending more time with friends or reading a good book. For me, one of things I have really missed is blogging. And I made several failed attempts at blogging over the last few months. Everything else kept getting in the way. I finally realized if I wanted this to happen, I needed to schedule it. This idea didn’t click until I heard Elizabeth Gilbert, on an episode of her podcast Magic Lessons, tell a busy woman trying to write a novel that she needed to make time for her writing, even if that meant giving up something else.

Thinking about all of the other priorities in my life, such as family, work and friends, blogging doesn’t really compete, but I decided it does fall somewhere on my list of priorities because it is something I enjoy. And as you know, the whole not spending time on me thing was a problem last year. So I’ve set aside time on Saturday mornings to work on my blog. I decided that little bit of time on Saturday mornings is just the right amount of time to commit to this given how it ranks in comparison to all of the other priorities in my life. I am sure there will be times when other priorities take precedence or when I spend more time on my blog than I thought I would. There may not always be balance. Psychotherapist F. Diane Barth, L.C.S.W., said in her blog post 5 ways to find balance in your life for Psychology Today, “…balance is about navigating transition - rather than trying to 'nail' a spot and (desperately...er...um) gracefully hoping to stay in it.” So I humbly recognize this is not something I will always get right. To quote my yoga teacher and something I am sure I begrudgingly learned many times during my years at the ice rink: when you fall, you learn. Finding balance takes work and practice, but I definitely think it’s something worth working on and focusing on for the next year. What do you think? Do you struggle with finding balance, too? Is there something you’ve done that has helped you find balance in your life?

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