“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” – Robert Fulgham
Is our purpose to achieve greater balance? To learn to set additional, or clearer, or more flexible boundaries with our activities and others?
Or is our purpose to learn and become one with the natural rhythm of our lives? The ebb and flow and ups and downs of everyday living can create a very pleasant or discordant tune, especially depending upon our attitude/perspective.
Or is the dissonance we sometimes experience perfectly natural—just as cycles of the Earth appear more pleasant or at times catastrophic?
As of this writing I am currently balancing/dancing with/in discord with: being a full-time graduate student in a counseling program, a GA ideally working ten hours per week, participating in social media, working at least 20 hours per week at the NM DOH, caring for a sweet 13 year-old girl when her mom travels for work, maintaining my relationship with my first employer by attending in-services, trainings, and taking on-call shifts. And that is just my public life. I wonder how many others are ‘doing’ just as much or more in their lives, and how that works for them. I mainly wonder about this when I don’t feel in balance or when I feel like I’m stepping on the dancing toes of my life, pulling me out of the rhythm.
I also go through phases when I enjoy being busy—having a life filled with interesting, enriching experiences. And then there are the days I love sleeping in, with nothing planned except reading a good book accompanied by some chocolate chip cookies.
And then there are the days even I don’t know what I want: to get on the train or in my car and drive all the way to Mexico, or just spend some time working my process—crying it out, because I just haven’t made time to do that yet.
Even when I’m experiencing frustration, upset, or anger, I still like to be aware of my languaging. My life isn’t running me; I still chose, even when I don’t see very many options.
So what am I to do?
When I look at the people I hold as role models in my life, they are each leading rich, full lives, with seemingly little time for just sitting around. My grandma always said, “I like to stay busy because it keeps me out of trouble.”
Sometimes I question myself—why do I enjoy (or rather not let myself enjoy) spending time curled up in bed with a good book or re-runs of I Love Lucy? What would happen if I just let myself enjoy that relaxed time? Am I afraid of laziness?
What I find more likely is I’ve been buying into the “need” for busyness our society promotes, often at our own physical and mental health and well-being.
So for real, what am I to do?
The more I actively engage in my life, even if this means choosing to do less out in the world and spend more time, at present, on my inner work, the more I love being me. This does take some active listening on my part, that’s for sure.