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!

healthy hacks, nature

Porch Sittin’

It was a whirlwind trip to the city. A cozy AirBnB row house was my home away from home. Newly renovated to match today’s modern luxuries inside, but with the charm of the old city neighborhood outside. Street parking was required or you had to park in the alley if you got in too late. I made sure to get the street spot as I wasn’t a  fan of alleys at night.

This is evening there were fireworks scheduled for 930pm. An air show began in the afternoon but lasted to the early evening. There was a lot goign on this weekend. Roads were closed. Weather was perfect for outdoor activities. people were enjoying life outside today. The night was calm. The temps were high 70s. Not a cloud in the sky. Perfect weather for porch sittin’ in between activity.

I was motivated by a woman I saw on her stoop earlier in the day. Not sure how long she stayed out porch sittin’ but when I return home she had a friend. They were giggling, catching up on life and just hanging out: life seemed so simple in that moment. It also gave me time to pause myself and think about how I too enjoyed porch sitting with my nana and aunts in my childhood.

Off I went to grab a book to read a little while there was still daylight. I heard a few jets still passing in the distance from the air show. I heard those passing by on bicycles. I saw a group with motorized razor scooters. A jeep. A motorcycle. Some walkers. Just a couple cars. In between pages I’d pause to listen to the birds chirp. I might have swatted a few bugs too. 

As night came, I flipped the flashlight on phone for a few extra minutes of light to read the last couple pages. The quiet time was good. The environment was very welcoming. The street seemed like and intersection of hope and expectation. The street, the name, the words all crossed my path in different ways in the last 24 hours which was a weird coincidence as I sit on the porch.

Some days we go through life checking off boxes and doing what is expected of us hoping for different results. On rare occasions, we choose to explore or wander. It’s this times when growth happens. It’s not hoping for change that gets you a new result it’s changing yourself or environment that’s yeilds a result. My expectation of myself is simple. I expect to change, often. I expect to grow, as much as possible. 

My porch sittin’ was amazing today. If you haven’t been porch sittin’ in the city take a trip. Find an Airbnb not a hotel. Blend into the community. Eat where the locals eat. Shop where the locals shop. I bet it will be a trip to remember.

Teddie Bear Adventures

Sunday Silence

It’s rest day! Well it’s the one day that I allow the most rest and the least scheduling for most parts of the year. I’ve missed my rest day the past being gone so for many reasons and time was catching up with others me.

Generally speaking it’s a day off of gym training. If I missed a day I may add it in but generally I’m not at the gym before 6am. For that reason alone it’s a rest day. A hike in the fall. Some farm chores. A walk. A bike ride may all fill in rest day but nothing too strenuous.

I generally like to have breakfast on Sunday. Some fresh eggs or whatever is available. Today was a hot tea kind of morning. A little peach tranquility and jade mint topped with honey for a fall morning. A little lounging. Some cleaning. Usually some laundry. But it seems everyone rests on Sunday too. The dogs. The family. Thus the Sunday silence. I’m awake usually as my body clock knows the time. However i purposely rest and relax.

Today I’m drifting in/out of sleepiness listening to pup one breathe. A restful breathing pattern with an occasional lip smacking. Oh how I wonder what she is dreaming about. Nestled at the foot of the bed. On guard of her baby sister sleeping in her crate at the foot of the bed. An anchored view of sorts. The puppy breathes a little heavier. The puppy tosses and turns some where, you hear her nails touching the bottom of the crate. These sounds are soothing to me. Like a mom listening to her human baby sleep. It’s a peaceful state.

The pups got a little morning treat today. Some cold milk and a sampling of bacon. This is just to hold them over before I run to the store to get them some treats for the week. Yes they are spoiled.

Motherhood is motherhood. Whether a pet mom or human mom. A mom’s worry or wonder is never far. For this morning I cheer silently for all the moms out there doing the best they can with what they have under the circumstances around them. It’s never easy.

health

That Cup of Coffee

I like to have a cup of coffee in the morning when certain circumstances arise to put me in the mood for a cup of joe. Sometimes it’s a group coffee event while other times I’m solo or maybe even in a dynamic duo.

I could be at the farm and want to look out at the hillside and smell the fresh air with a cup of coffee in hand. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s hot, cold or something in between. It’s the environment and the coffee seems to be a warm and soothing way to take in all in.

Today I had a cup of coffee by the window in my kitchen. I was sitting solo while others slept in. I just watched the trees with a gentle breeze on a pretty weekend morning. Nothing fancy but a good way to kick start a busy day. Today’s coffee was warm from the keurig with a squirt of sugar free vanilla syrup and a splash of creamer. Just right for me in my cute mug I picked out. It’s funny how sometimes the cup I choose makes me smile as much as the coffee. Simple pleasures.

Somedays it’s a Starbucks kind of morning. If it’s chilly I go for the hot caramel macchiato: if it’s warm outside I’ll take the iced version. When I get the iced coffee it’s all about the presentation. A photo is normally taken by me when it’s just right. The milk about half full. The coffee floating on top. The caramel drizzling sliding down the side. It’s a delightful sight that makes me smile. Some days the field trip to the coffee shop is just the break I need from the chaos of the day.

Then there is the plus one coffee. I may meet a friend for a cup of coffee. I may make a crazy tiktok coffee with my kiddo to test the latest fad coffee. The last one was a hit with almond milk and my frother. I’ve even had a coffee date drive-up style during Corona to keep my 6 feet distance. Sipping side by side in vehicles. Only in a pandemic would that seem normal.

Sometimes I just want to sit outside at a little bistro table and sip away. I could be a party of one or two. I could be at home or out and about. It doesn’t matter to me. It’s the comforting feel of the warm coffee and the environment. The fresh air. The scenery. The smell of fresh brewed coffee. Sometimes the company is good but sometimes the silence is even better.

That cup of coffee. Just one cup. Many thoughts. Many conversations. That cup of coffee is such a sweet addition to my week.

giving

Life

A big sigh. A deep and hearty breath was expelled. A yawn. Another big sigh. A controlled exhale.

Here I am before bed. In my super comfy pjs. It’s late on a Friday night. No big plans on the calendar tonight as it’s been a long week. My adorable fluffy dog at my feet. The most loyal companion that ever did live. She missed me today. I had a Zoom call that took me away from her for a good bit midday and an errand in the afternoon. She missed me terribly. Oh, and I missed her too. Guilty as charged. All is good as we wind down for the evening. We are reunited and calm because we have each other. Just being present is what matters. Just being present. 

When one is present there is no worry. No anxiety. No stress. No silence. No wondering when one will be back. A calm. A reassurance. A beautifully peaceful place in time. Can you picture this in your mind?

As we have each other I think of many who miss loved ones or miss out on true connections or companionships. Life happens. Life isn’t always a bed of roses. I wish it was but there are more thorny paths in life than I care to share. However I will always find ways to shift to positivity in life.

I’m currently working with a person who is single raising a young child. This person is amazing in so many ways and is doing the best for their child. Sometimes the two that make the miracle end up being better apart. In this case it’s definitely for the best for many reasons.  As the single parent/child duo emerged from the thorny road they travelled for too long, the puzzle pieces were left scattered. Not just on a table. Literally scattered to the point one had to search high and low for the pieces to put them back together. This is life for them. Many twists, turns and more thorns. 

Unfortunately, a cheering squad is missing as they out the life puzzle back together. Maybe it’s the ex’s side who fails to show up for visits today. Maybe it’s the temporary accommodations at night.  Maybe it’s just the lonely road of single parenting another day. Maybe is the constant juggling act with school shutdowns and balancing work/home all by oneself thanks to Corona. Maybe it’s missing the parental figure that was lost before the grandchild arrived. So many obstacles. So little support. Or so it seems to the one carrying the heavy load.

Fortunately I am there. Jumping up and down, cheering from a far, offering a listening ear, and so much more. Today more than ever I recognize people need people. In many different ways at different times. Companionship, trust, love, loyalty and overall presence. It seems simple in concept but many miss opportunities be present for others. The chance to be present in life. Or be a present to that person in need.

For me, I feel the universe whispers to me at times. The special times when certain people around me need to have a friend. A support. An outsider looking in. A new perspective. An unbiased party. I am to others what my dog is to me. I may not be all snuggly, cute and fluffy but I’m purposeful in my undivided attention to the needs of others.

My dog is purposeful in her loyalty to me. She recognizes I care for her. I support her. Much like a child relies on a parent. A parent needs support at times as well. In the case above I mentioned the single parent scenario. Another scenario may be an aging parent who needs the support of their adult child. The support that is just being present. No parent wants to feel like they are a burden.

Do you have a friend to family member you could do a better job being present for? Why not make present and see how much that gift is appreciated?