balance

Balancing Act

At what age do you find a healthy life balance? Is it possible to always be in balance? I think about the balance in life a lot.

Today I think about the life balance of my teen. Balancing the rigorous school requirements. Adding in daily sports commitments. Homework. Friends. Boyfriend. Weekend out of town. Late night out on a school night for a birthday celebration. Go. Go. Go. Not slow. Just go. Just go hard. Just go now. Just keep going. It’s a vicious cycle. Where is the balance? Is there the possibility of balance without letting something or somebody down?

As an adult the roles shift but the question still remains the same. Eat, sleep, work, chores, deadlines, friends, health appointments, kid appointments, significant other time, caregiver time, emotional support, laundry, emergencies, bills, travel, and the list can go on and on. Is it possible to balance it all, everyday for infinity? Is that even realistic?

Sometimes my balanced state is my time in the car. The time I drive from point A to point B. Sometimes I even take the long way. Just to let the stillness continue. My time alone. My time to think or maybe not think at all. My time to pause the crazy schedule, routine or even have to’s. A new scenery. A time to readjust or realign my expectations.

If I miss my car time because I get a phone call demanding my time and attention I lose my balance. If I miss this opportunity, I have to find another way to reset the balance. A walk. A break to play with my dogs. Maybe even a nap at an odd time. It’s taken me many years to figure out what my healthy balance is. However, I worry about today’s kids. How do they find their balance in our crazy world? 

Born into digital life, some kids lack problem solving abilities or basic social skills. This is concerning because they may never figure out balance or pausing the noises of life, especially the digital distractions. Add in unrealistic expectations across the board and balance goes to the wayside.

As I wrap up this post I am leaving you with a challenge.

Challenge yourself to find new ways to balance your life. Talk to a friend about the topic and see if you can challenge a friend to work on their balance. I’m obviously hoping for a domino effect. Drop us a line to tell us what you did to balance your life. 

Balance away!

balance

Life being Lifey

Life is being extra lifey these days. War, weather, mental stresses, financial hardships, on and on and on. It’s everywhere. My work life, my personal life, family friends colleagues acquaintances are all full of it. People are messy in their best times. Now, their messiness is more like a shambles that spills out and spreads all over.

Assume people will get sick, have issues and set backs and not be able to execute. Assume extra tasks, jobs, and responsibilities are coming as a result of the balls that others will drop. It’s just how things are right now. How can I thrive, survive, persist, stay sane in light of these times?

Here’s how I am hanging on for this bumpy ride:

Eat well. There are certain things I don’t farm out to anyone. Nutrition is number one. I own every step of that process from planning it to shopping for it to cooking it to packing it up. I don’t like being off plan and I don’t always make great decisions when it’s left to the last minute, whatever I can get my hands on. I know that eating well makes me feel better and do better. End of story.

Exercise first thing in the morning. The only possible exception is Sundays. Exercise helps me manage stress and gives me a sense of accomplishment and strength right off the bat. Extra boost if I see my friends and get the social sweat aspect of life first thing as well, but this isn’t always possible. Movement always is!

Stay ahead on things, knowing curveballs are coming. Busy season is about to kick up. When I have an idle moment, I try to think about what task I can push one step (or more steps) forward. Throw the laundry in. Clean something. Stock the pantry with two instead of one. Hopefully, when deadlines come or something is needed, I am ready instead of behind the eight ball trying to juggle and patch things together. Being ahead on what I can eases my stress.

Sundays. Sundays are my reset and ready-for-the-week day. I try to protect this if at all possible. It is often the only day I start with an extended coffee time at home. I write. I pull out clothes for the week. I make lists. I try really hard not to drive anywhere further away than 10-15 minutes unless it is a soul-serving adventure. Looking ahead on the calendar, keeping Sundays “sacred” will get harder and harder as fall’s busy-ness kicks in. Even as I write this, my Saturday and Sunday has flipped for this weekend. But I still try to keep one day with fewer commitments. Go-go-go all the time wears me out.

Notice nature. Get out and immerse myself in nature as often as possible, even for a few minutes a day. Flower farming has been amazing for this. I have a couple of hours a week in our field, just cutting flowers, watching bees and butterflies, soaking up the fresh air. I keep our flowers with me at work and home so I see them many times a day. They always make me take a small mental pause and smile.

What could I add? I need to write more often. I need to stretch. I need to meditate. These fall too low on the to-do list right now and I know each of them would help. This paragraph is a challenge to myself!

These last few weeks have been a lot, at times bordering on “too much, I can’t handle it, get me out of here.” There have been times I’ve considered drinking alcohol, which I don’t do. I’ve considered massive carb-and-cheese-laden meals of things I don’t typically eat. These things float through my mind, I notice them, then remind myself what works for me.

“Self care” has been a buzzword over the last couple of years. It comes with these challenging times. Life being lifey just beats many of us down and we need to take care of ourselves. I am a firm believer that you can’t pour from an empty cup, meaning you have to keep yourself cared for before you can care for others. Self care looks different for everyone. For some, it means doing whatever you want, regardless of the craving and what it costs. For me, self care does not mean self indulgence. Sometimes it means reminding myself what my goals are and what makes me feel healthy. A cocktail isn’t self care for me. Or a piece of chocolate cake. Might feel good for a moment, but then I’m left dealing with the fallout from my own impulsiveness.

In the end, I can only try to control my own decisions, my time, and my attention. I have to redirect myself when the decisions others make upset me. Boundaries are ok to set and adhere to. I only have to explain myself to those select few people who warrant it. But for most people, “no” can absolutely be a complete sentence.

balance

Sunday Breeze

It’s still the hot of summer but today there seems to be a Sunday breeze. Temps have dropped to low 80’s thanks to the cloud cover today. An approaching storm has the trees wrestling. Oh the Sunday breeze today is just right when out in the shade.

A relaxing afternoon. Sitting outside enjoying the cloud cover and breeze. My mind drifts. I think about my plans for the coming days and weeks ahead. As the breeze blows I think about the many things I am thankful today. Life is interesting. Slowing down sometimes helps you appreciate what’s right in front of you.

Today I’m thankful for the Sunday breeze and everything that blows along with it. Riding topless on a day like today is like a dance with the clouds, but many danced today when I was on the road. By dancing I mean dipping and dodging rain drops, clouds and sunshine. Those who ride topless know the fierce dance. Will you get sprinkled on? Will you get soaked? Maybe a Jeep ride today. Maybe a convertible. Maybe even a motorcycle. Whatever method of topless you like, today was a nice day to feel the Sunday breeze. A refreshing feeling in the air today to break from the normal hot summer sun.

If the above isn’t just the cutest cover to a notebook. Today, I decided I needed a new notebook. A place to write my thoughts when another Sunday breeze rolls around. For this cover is peaceful and quirky, yet it reminds me to stretch. Stretching my mind, my body and my goals. For this book will capture new scribbles and thoughts. All of which may unfold into opportunities. Thankful for the cloudy days ahead when I can stretch and use my book.

Enjoy your week.

balance

New Spots or Spaces

I have a few new spots or spaces to find peace and recovery. These spots and places all have a purpose to me in their design but also in the usefulness over time.

A bench seat tucked in the woods. It’s not a fancy spot by any means. A resting place while taking the dog for an adventure. A place to sit and reflect on a crazy day. A peaceful spot away from others. The bench in the woods. 

The bike erg set under cover outside. A place to ride stationary for a secondary workout. Nestled in fresh air. Where you can hear and smell the rain and see and smell the flowers. A new scenery of sorts. Why not move the bike outside instead of staring at a wall. Maybe the miles on the bike will be less taxing based on the surroundings.

The gathering spot. The open air venue where I can bring people to gather. For a picnic. For cocktails. For community. Large enough to accommodate a big group yet small enough to be intimate. An eclectic place that is a quirky as me. This is a shared space or spot. A space I choose to share with others to offer to others what they may not have in their life. A spot or space that is as unique as them.

The thinking chair. The chair with a cozy and soft blanket. A place to write in the notebook or take notes on the digital device while others sit nearby in their own peaceful state. The thinking chair can be any chair. Mine is just where I choose to gather my thoughts and think about endless possibilities. 

The big top. The circus tent in my mind. The desert oasis type of tent. Set in a rustic wonderland. Cool breezes flowing through the netting. The smell of fresh wood, animals and water, a comfy bed to nap in. Chairs just outside should I dare to leave the comfort of the tent. My little writing nook. My special place to write new chapters. The place to imagine new endings or maybe even new beginnings.

Spaces and spots are important to me. Spaces and spots provide change and opportunities in my life. Rest in one place. Work in another. It’s a balancing act of sorts. Many will not understand and that is perfectly fine with me. 

I have a swing to add to my spots and spaces in the future as well. Another story to tell I’m sure. Stay tuned. This list is not all inclusive. I have many more spots and spaces but this blog isn’t a tell-all-be-all information site. These blogs represent a glimpse of life. A tidbit to upcoming books and so much more.

I wonder which chick wrote this post? Another question for readers I suppose. Author identity may or may not be shared in a post. You the reader may think you know but you really don’t know unless you ask.

Drop us a line whenever you are curious.

balance

My Control Panel

In a challenge right now with a fitness group, we were tasked with thinking daily about what in our lives we can and cannot control. We had to write it down and repeat it to ourselves each day several times. To some this might seem silly, but especially in this time of flux and frustration, I found it useful. Here are some of the things I wrote down this week.

What I cannot control:

-My other family members’ schedules

-Other people’s priorities

-How other people interpret and respond to my choices

-How other people see me

-Many details about my work day – where I work, how I allocate my time, how many meetings I have to attend

-Traffic

-How fast the postal service delivers packages

-The coronavirus pandemic – its length, severity, and impact on people I care about and the world at large

-How others respond to the pandemic…their movements, opinions, responses, precautions (or lack of)

-Whether or not my daughter will have a lacrosse season

-The weather

-Other people’s level of stress and its’ impact on their actions, attitudes, etc.

The list goes on…and I realize I spend a LOT of time spinning my mental and spiritual wheels on the list above. NOTHING I CAN DO ANYTHING ABOUT. AT. ALL.

Here’s what I can control.

-My actions

-My choices

-Where I put my energy – writing, reading, recreation, learning, exercise, rest

-Where I direct my attention

-My movement

-What I consume – food, media, etc.

-My hydration

-My attitude toward challenges

Really, it’s a small list, but it’s what I need to focus on. You notice that most of what I can’t control involves other people and most of what I can involves me. When I find myself fretting about the world and all its ups and downs, I remember what I can control and then try to DO something related to these lists.

It seems like a goofy task to say these things several times a day, but I learned that my anxiousness lessens when I consciously remind myself what I can do something about. And then DO one of those things. What’s on your lists? Give it a try and see how you fare.