As the balance project continues, I think I am beginning to learn something. This will be a huge revelation, an epiphany in fact, for all of you. Are you ready?
Okay, here it is:
It’s all about balance.
Right. I know – totally shocking. But saying those words and really understanding what they mean are, at least for me, two different things.
This week I’ve been studying the mechanisms the body has in place for maintaining a steady state. Pretty amazing, really. If one things gets a little out of whack, then something else kicks in to correct it. The body, apparently, expects that things are constantly going to be getting out of kilter. It has planned ahead. Unless things get severely imbalanced, it compensates.
We can learn from this, my friends. My biggest lesson from last week, I think, is to keep my eyes on the big picture, not to lose the forest for the trees. I’m all out of cliche’s here, but I expect you see what I mean.
There were days last week where all of my plans fell apart. I had to work late when I planned to get off early and go to the gym. I was so exhausted I couldn’t keep my eyes open at the time I planned to study. Friends, family, and strangers, somehow alerted to the fact that I’d decided to shed a few pounds, began offering me chocolate and baked goods and various other calorie laden delights.
The results? Well, I lost one pound. ONE. But – I made it to the gym three times, despite the moments of derailment. I increased a level on the treadmill, I upped the weights. I also, over the course of the week, ate a healthier diet and drank less coffee.
I did not make my study goal. But, I did get a lot of studying done and I’m still at it. My brain is retaining. I’m beginning to remember how it feels for that old brain to stretch a little.
As for writing – I got in at least an hour of solid revision time every day but one. I’m making progress, getting where I need to go.
So my point is, I think, that even when we feel like life forces are pushing us out of the path we want to pursue, it’s very likely a temporary stumble. The goal is, really, not to be constantly on target, but to make the corrections, large or small, that get us where we want to be in the end.
So – how is your balance this week? And what small corrections might you need to make to get where you want to go?
So here’s the thing – life has gotten complicated. Big surprise, right? Sure didn’t see that coming.
Ahem. Anyway, in the middle of all of the complication, things have gotten out of perspective. To be fair, it’s not an easy perspective to keep. There are a lot of strands involved and it’s easy to get focused on a couple and forget about the rest.
Which brought me to a place where I wasn’t sleeping well, wasn’t exercising at all. I gained weight. My writing was sporadic, my family time was haphazard. The pressures of my job had increased exponentially, and I felt like I was walking around on the edge of a breakdown. My response? Let’s add a little something else in there. How about going back to school and getting my RN back?
Yeah. I’m smart like that.
Well, actually getting the RN back probably is smart. But it also takes up a chunk of time.
The answer? Add in another activity, of course. So I joined the gym. While this sounds like madness, it actually makes sense, and is part of my plan for balance and sanity.
Health is essential to keeping all of the balls in the air. Unfortunately, my job is a recipe for, um, not health, and is certainly not conducive to balance. High stress, huge responsibility, an erratic schedule, tons of On Call work. This results in disrupted sleep, irregular eating patterns with forays to fast food stops on the way to or from somewhere.
I can’t drop the job. But here’s what I can do:
Exercise at least 3 times a week.
Cut down on coffee – do note I did not say stop drinking coffee. Like that will ever happen in this lifetime.
Make an attempt to eat healthier meals.
Schedule time on days off to write, even if it means getting out of the house for an hour or two.
Use Freedom for Mac when I’m writing, which makes for dedicated, intense, productive writing time, instead of popping in and out of Twitter and multitasking.
Spend time with family after the writing is done, so I can enjoy being with them instead of thinking, “I should be writing.”
Have an intended study quota per week, so I know I’m making progress.
Will this work? So far it seems to be helpful but it’s early days yet. Here’s what I was thinking, though – it’s always so much more fun to have company along the way.
Anybody else already engaged in a balance project of your own, or ready to give on a try? Here’s your chance to weigh in (cough, of course no pun intended) and share your plan or your goals or whatever. Or, if you prefer to be unbalanced, I’d love to hear about that too.
Morning email points out to me yet again that I am deficient in my blogging mojo. Every morning, in fact, a nice little statistical summary arrives in my inbox, pointing out a simple and logical equation: if you don’t blog, nobody can read your blog, and therefore nobody is stopping by to visit. These days, this little message of sunshine begins to look like the ghost of Christmas Future, pointing it’s bony finger at the inevitable grave.
Yeah, yeah, whatever.
Well, that’s my standard response. This morning I thought perhaps I’d dash in, disheveled and horribly late, and just point out that I’m busy and occupied elsewhere. Also – I have nothing much to say.
What keeps me? Well, life in general. And writing. The crisis world has been extraordinarily busy of late. And I’m revising. All of my time goes to work, revision, and family these days. Well, unless I’m reading, of course, which is highly probable. Or sleeping. I still haven’t figured out what to do about that obnoxious need for sleep thing.
Oh – there’s also the new exercise program which promises a whole new source of guilt, and the nursing refresher course I’ve started. I’m also still hanging out a little on Twitter and exploring Google Plus.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I really must get back to the morning and the list of things that must be done.
I’ll be back.