Saturday, February 21, 2015

On Life Balance

Today, for about the 1,000th time, I ruminate on life balance.

For as long as I can remember, I've had a “go for the gusto” bias. I've always perceived life to be full of opportunity for new experiences, with the challenge being how to fit as many in as possible. I often claim as my life motto “I'd rather burn out than rust out.” For the most part, this has served me well and I have no regrets about acting on that bias. I am blessed to have married someone with the same bias, so we are both very busy all the time. We do a lot together and we do a lot separately, which allows each of us to bring new and interesting things into the relationship all the time. It is a satisfying life.

The problem with this approach, though, is that from time to time I get overextended. While I like being busy, there has to be some time for reflection and regeneration, too. Every once in a while, I find myself feeling like a hamster on a wheel. Run, run, run, without feeling that I'm actually getting anywhere. Lately, I've been getting close to that point. Fortunately, even before the snow came, I had claimed this Saturday as a day off.

I'm a practicing Catholic, and the Catholic church actually promotes a period of reflection and regeneration this time of year. It's called Lent, and there have been a lot of years where what the church offers at Lent has nicely aligned with my personal needs. Those years, I have had a good Lent and felt a lot better at the end.

As I approached Lent this year, it was a little different. Some of my current over-extension is at church, so it's hard to see taking on more church as the answer. In fact, today was the day of the annual Catholic Women's Conference in Columbus, but I had opted not to register this year. While I have found it a lovely experience in the past, I couldn't get past the feeling it would be just one more have-to-do this time around. I knew I wouldn't benefit from it if I couldn't get past that. So I decided a day in my own home would do me more good this year.

It was a good call. It is lovely sitting here, watching the snow, knowing I have nowhere to go, nothing I have to do. I've accomplished a few little tasks I wanted to get done, but at a leisurely pace. And now I think I'm actually going to go curl up with a book for a while.

What about you, readers? Is balance an issue for you? How do you cope? What trips you up? What have you learned along the way?

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