Thursday, June 24, 2010

Still Working On Finding “Balance”

When I started this blog, one of my goals was to find “balance” in my life. Now, “balance” is a big word and there are often great expectations attached to it. We somehow want to find that “magical place” where things are in harmony and we somehow (hopefully) effortlessly spend the “right” amount of time on the “right” things. I’m not so sure that place truly exists… Life is just too ever-changing, unpredictable, and sometimes just not that easy…

Even though there may not be a place of “true balance,” I can honestly say that I feel more “balanced” today than when I started this blog last year. Here is why:
  • I work out regularly without feeling guilty
  • I am not afraid to say “no” anymore (most of the time)
  • I take time to appreciate the gift of life every day
  • I take some “me time” every day (even if it’s just 5 minutes)
  • I am mindful of where my food comes from, how I prepare it, and I enjoy every bite of it
While things are more balanced, the last few months have been challenging. Life happened, which means there were lots of things I hadn’t expected, planned for, or, quite frankly, wanted… But I made the best of it. Were things perfect and “nicely balanced?” No. But they were okay. And sometimes okay is just fine.

I still managed to work out a fair amount (although less than I would have liked to). I continued to eat (mostly) healthy foods. I made an effort to stay in touch with friends (but I could have been better).
Here is what I’m going to work on in the next few weeks to get “more balanced:”
  • Read a “summer book” for pleasure
  • Add some cardio back into my workouts
  • Play/hike/live more in nature
  • Be truly mindful of all the little pleasures and let them outshine the “negatives”
Questions: What do you think of “balance?” Do you think it’s a “big word” with maybe too many (unrealistic) expectations? Do you feel you have “balance” in your life?
 
Be well,
Andrea

31 comments:

  1. This is a great question but super hard to answer! Somedays I feel I have balance and other times I feel like I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off! Sometimes I have my expectations too high, something I need to work on

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  2. Those are some wonderful habits you've been able to start! Lately I've been trying to find at least one thing to do daily to make the day "special" - just thinking about it makes me grateful for ALL I'm able to do and gives me ideas of things I can do in less than a minute that make the day (and hopefully others days) so much better :)

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  3. I agree with you that the whole idea of balance is a bit slippery. I've heard the phrase "all things in moderation...including moderation." I think it applies to balance too - part of being balanced is occassionally being off-balance, if that makes sense. Because you have to be off-balance to even know where your personal balance really is!

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  4. I like to try to live as balanced as possible, just like you, but also just like you, I find it hard sometimes. There are weeks when I get in touch with friends, workout all I want, relax and take time for myself, work hard, hang out with Nick, blog, and I feel perfectly balanced. Then there are weeks when I'm completely frazzled and way off balance (this week!). I think this is normal though, and completely acceptable, as long as those unbalanced weeks don't turn into months, and years...you know??
    I like your goals for the next few weeks. I have many goals for the next couple weeks and I hope to stay balanced throughout! Many of my goals involve work so I need to make sure to relax.

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  5. It's not easy at all to find the balance in ourlives especially there's toddler in the house. Just imagne those sleepless nights! Emm..... I think all I need is a 10 minutes break for myself alone with a cup of coffee sitting at the corner of my house. ^_^ Trying to keep my energy charged before starts moving on again. hehe.... Hope you're having a nice break too, Andrea!
    Blessings, Kristy

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  6. Balance is tricky. It seems to me that it exists when my house is clean, dinner is cooking, papers have been graded and I've gone for a run that day. I think I need to change my definition!

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  7. i definitely feel like i have more balance in my life these days. the proof is days that are good, days that are bad, and remembering during both "this too shall pass." then staying in the moment and riding it through.

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  8. I feel pretty balanced but it definitely takes effort as I'm lean towards extremes by nature. I also think "balance" varies from person to person. What may feel balanced to one is nuttiness to another.

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  9. I think with today's hectic pace, and the economy forcing us to work harder for less or at least to keep our heads above water, that balance becomes harder to achieve and consequently, even more important to have. I applaud you for recognizing that. It's a good lesson for all of us that no matter how busy we are, we need to make sure we spend our time wisely so that we don't burn out and we don't neglect the things that are truly important in life: family, friends, health and happiness.

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  10. It sure sounds like you have a lot of good things going on.

    Being "mindful of the little pleasures" is a good one to strive for.

    I strive for having balance in my life. It isn't about being perfect at it. At least I am trying and most of the time succeeding.

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  11. I agree with Tami, you have a lot of good things going on. I'm always striving for balance. That's my ultimate goal, and when I'm most balanced is when I feel the healthiest. It's definitely a struggle, whether it be with sleep, food, social life, exercise, time, etc. Everything in life needs to be balanced, and I think each individual's perfect "balance" is different.

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  12. I try to live a balanced life. I think of it as taking the best for my health and the best for my sanity and finding a spot int he middle. Working, schooling, blogging, and excercising has made balancing a bit difficult, but I'm working through it! :)

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  13. Being balanced for me means that I have to have my planner handy so I know who is where and when. Without that *schedule*, my busy life just seems hectic and scattered. Having it all down on paper makes it much easier for me to managed and feel less stressed out. I even jot down gym time each day! HA!!

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  14. You're so right - balance is tough. And is there such a thing as spending the "right" amount of time on the "right" activities? I don't know! I feel a bit out of balance, too. Life is throwing a low of curve balls and I don't like when I'm not in control. I have been making an effort to continue regular workouts and taking, if even a few moments, a bit of "me time" each day :) Sounds like we're in the same ballpark :) Have a wonderful, balanced weekend Andrea!

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  15. I do think balance is a big word and means different things to each of us. I'm always struggling to find the perfect balance for my life. I hope one day I will.

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  16. I think I have balance in my life. I have a good balance between work and private life. The only thing that needs improvement that at busy times I skip my workouts the first and that shouldn't be so. So I have balance but it can be better.

    I'm a bit late in responding but just got back from a vacation so am catching up on blogs.

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  17. Balance for me is like this never ending cycle. I find balance. Then I add in more hobbies or goals. Then I have to find balance again. The last couple of weekends I've had the mentality that I am going to do what I feel like doing. So if that means cleaning. I'll clean. If that means going to yard sales, that's what I am going to do. That totally ruins my "balance," but if we can't just relax and enjoy life sometimes, balance isn't worth it. :) Good luck! I am still working on this myself.

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  18. I love what you said here! Balance really is a very delicate act, one that is work to keep up and very easily upset. however the effort is always worth it.

    the one surprise I've noticed this past year, is that I am much less upset when things interrupt my balancing act.

    maybe that means, I hope, my life is more in balance.

    a good friend once said to me, life happens while we are busy planning it.

    great topic!!!!

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  19. I think that if you're happy, you're on a good road to having balance. I'm happy. Sure, I don't alwawys get housework done, and that friend I meant to visit 4 weeks ago is still waiting for my call. I don't think balance necessarily means getting it all done, but if you get most done and feel good about it, you have balance.

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  20. I usually feel balanced but lately i'm feeling very unbalanced which is stressing me out! I need a 'get back to balance' list like you - love the idea of more relaxation in my life!

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  21. Oh gosh, "balance" is the holy grail for bloggers, isn't it? I agree, it's a big word and I think it gets thrown around a lot, but for a good reason...it is necessary to stay sane AND be healthy! I work on finding balance ever day, every hour. It's wonderful to read about your progress with it, too :)

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  22. Balancing my life is always a work in progress! I think being perfectly balanced 24/7 is definitely an unrealistic expectation. We will have better "balance" on some days. I do agree that I have better balance than I did one year ago!

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  23. Great post! At times I definitely do not think I am balanced. It can be hard with work, blogging, gym at times.
    I try to always take time for me though.

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  24. Great post Andrea. You know me and my quest for balance ;-) I think it will constantly be on-going for me. Sometimes the scales will be more balanced then other times.

    You have done a great job this year despite some curve balls thrown at you. I think when you can get past things that you didn't expect, you only grow stronger.

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  25. what a beautiful post! i think you are completely right: life is never going to be perfectly balances. it's ever-changing, ever-evolving and always ready to surprise you. however, if we control the things we can control - like our reactions, thoughts and actions - then i think we can find a place of balance for us. thank you for this post - it was a great reminder that amidst the chaos of life, we can still find that inner peace :)

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  26. Balance is a tough one for me because I do so many things. I have so many part time "jobs" and school and living abroad so lots of phone calls home, but I love to multitask so I find joy in organizing my time. It can be tough, but I guess balance is only how you perceive it, if that makes sense. I think I have some decent balance, but I know outsiders think my crazy schedule is too much. I prefer to do more and I balance it in my own way.

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  27. Love this!! Your bullet points really nail it. I feel the exact same way. Balance is essential to health and happiness.

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  28. I definitely need to work on this.

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  29. I think that balance is so important in life, I know that I have a tendency to go to one extreme or the other, and finding that happy medium is SO tough.

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  30. Hope you are enjoying your summer Andrea!

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  31. I just came upon your blog and I am looking forward to reading more. I really liked this post as your reasons for starting your blog a couple of years ago are very similar to my reasons for starting one a few days ago. I am so happy that you are still blogging and can't wait to learn from reading more about your journey. Living a "balanced" life seems so easy in theory, but it is so hard in reality.

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