Balance (a state of equilibrium)​

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Balance is a word that is being tossed around lately. Emotional balance, financial balance, work-life balance. What is this balance and does anyone really achieve it?

I find my emotional life very off-balance these days. I can go through my days pretty well for a good part of the week and then BAM! Some little thing takes my breath away and I’m off balance AGAIN. It’s usually unexpected. A song, a card or note, a picture, a phrase that someone uses in conversation. Nothing big or brash. Small, quiet, quick. A knife turning in the heart and days of walking on a balance beam trying not to fall off.

I have to admit that there are longer intervals between episodes. I even believe that they may become a yearly event instead of weekly. Of course, this is still a great improvement over the daily battle for balance I was facing nine months ago.

Even when I feel that I’ve achieved a precarious emotional balance, there’s still the rest of my life that is in the mix. How do I balance work, home, kids, family and just stuff? At work they like to talk about work-life balance. While listending to a podcase recently the person was saying that the phrase should really be work-life integration. I like that MUCH better. It actually seems more attainable than balance.

Balance suggests that there is equality between your work and your life. Reality suggests otherwise simply because you spend so much of your time at work, thinking about work and getting ready for work. Integration suggests that they can each work around and within each other. So instead of coming home exhausted and trying to make my grocery list, I can start it during work at a time that I need a mental break. That mental break will also give me a different prespective on whatever I was working.

And by the way, someone where in all of this I’m told that I need to find time for myself.  Time to do things that I want to do.  You know, like blogging. I do this so well, that I’m doing this at 10:30PM when normally I like to be in bed, lights out ready to sleep, no later than 9:30PM. I’ll pay for it tomorrow when 6:00AM rolls around and I’m feeling groggy.

Maybe I’ll try for balance again in a couple of days. Tomorrow will be an experiment in integration.

Struggling (have difficulty handling or coping with)

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Life is full of curveballs. Sometimes it will bring you a happy coincidence and sometimes it will punch you in the gut. Either way, it’s never a straight line to where you are going. How you react and regroup is what determines your path.

The past year I have had several “punch in the gut” moments that I have refused to let define me. I have had people expect me to behave like the person I was 15 or 20 years ago because they cannot, or will not, see the person I am today. How I’ve changed over the years. How I’ve grown or at least how I think I’ve grown. It makes me wonder if they still see me like that because they have not grown at all. They have become stagnant and struggle with life.

The nice thing about rolling with the punches is that I’m at a point where I feel like I’m growing again. Things look brighter, less gray. I’ve begun to think about things I let go, like writing. I’m choosing to make my life more colorful, active and meaningful. I’m spending my time with people who are important to me. People who are positive, uplifting, funny and creative. The kind of people who believe in love and kindness.

It’s not as if I never struggle with parts of life, it’s that I am determined to face each struggle head on with a ferocious will to overcome and learn. Lately, I’ve learned that I am resilient and that is a very good thing.

Reflection (a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration)

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It’s the end of the year. This means that you’ll be seeing and reading about reflections on the past year, holiday, lifetime, whatever. There are more things that cause us to reflect on our lives than just the end of the year. Life events cause this type of reflection all the time, whether it is through gain (a new relationship, job, experience, child) or  loss (of a loved one, a job, a relationship, a home). Reflecting can be just that – to think, ponder, or meditate – or you can use what you discover to bring about change.

2016 has been one heck of a year both in the world and in my world. I’ve spent a good portion of this year thinking, pondering, giving careful consideration to who I am today and who I want to be. I realized that over time I had stopped doing things I loved because life happened. It was rarely a conscious decision but more a whittling away at my time. One of those things was writing.

In my past, I would spend time writing. I started at 12 years old with a diary which soon became poetry and eventually very short stories. In college, I wrote a screenplay and even tried my hand at lyrics. As my time became filled with other things, I attempted to journal daily. That would last for about a week and then I would find my journal several months later and feel bad about it. There was a time that I would write letters and cards to friends and family just because I enjoyed the simple acting of writing but even that fell away. Soon I just stopped writing altogether.

All of this to say, welcome to my blog. The first change that all my reflection has brought about. In 2017 I will begin my affair with writing all over again. You are invited to come on this journey with me. I don’t know where it will take us but hopefully to a place filled with humor, love, and even some reflection.

Happy New Year to you all!