Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Committing to balance

"Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act."
                                                               -excerpt from Oh, the Places You'll Go! 
                                                                                        by Dr. Seuss

I had a lovely call from my dear friend Beth today wishing me a happy belated half birthday.  She reminded me of how awful my real birthday was this past year (nothing like a bout of shingles to help you celebrate your 31st year on earth) and thought it would be fitting to celebrate now that I am recovered and feeling alive again.  What a difference six months makes!  This time six months ago was a personal record low for my health that set off a disturbing run of illnesses that I can only infer were stress related.  Now, refreshed and renewed from my summer break, I am full of a desire to do things differently, to commit to this elusive "balance" that I, like so many others, so desperately seek.  Yet even as I begin to dip my toes back into the treacherous waters of balancing work and life, I am reminded of the complexity of the demands, the sparsity of the hours in the day and how easy it is to get swept up in the grind.  So this got me thinking. . .what do you do to achieve and maintain balance in your life?  How do you cope with the stress?

I know that exercise has always been a key ingredient for me---running, swimming and yoga in particular.  Creating space and structured time to connect with my body and escape my head for a bit seems to do wonders to re-calibrate my sanity.  Yet despite my best intentions, once the pace of life picks up and the competing demands of family life and work spin their perilous web, I seem to always lose sight of this and opt to work or rest through time that could have been spent pounding the pavement.  Intellectually I know better yet somehow I get swept up and all of a sudden it has been three weeks since I last broke a sweat.

So, my friends, as I take in a few big gulps of deliciously summer-laced air before diving in, what bits of wisdom do you have to offer?  What tips do you have for staying balanced amid the tumult of a busy life?

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1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

First off, the determination and anticipation on Siena's face in that picture are awe-inspiring!!! Second, in seeking balance, remember that everything you do in your life -- work, love, sleep, parenting -- will be happier and of a higher quality if you exercise regularly, even if just 2-3x/week. It's one of the greatest (and cheapest!) gifts you can give to yourself and your family. I know this semester will go a lot better for you -- kudos to you for being able and willing to make positive change!!!