Aiming for balance

by Jill Sockman

I’m writing to you on Sunday afternoon, looking out to another grey and drizzly, icy day. There’s the part of me that loves this weather as an opportunity and excuse to lay low, nest, and generally ponder the State of Things. There’s another side, however, that’s just kind of tired of the wet, cold and grey days of winter. I’ve found that this extended southern hibernation is feeding the indecisive characters who take up residence inside of me from time to time: The Procrastinator, The Rationalizer, and The Malcontent. In this unscheduled time out from the usual grind, I’ve planned a dozen times (at least) to tackle undone projects, clear items from the long term to-do list and give a good solid effort to make this “extra” time productive. I have failed miserably.

What happened? I’m pretty sure I wasn’t listening to the instructions coming through the Soul Loudspeaker (which I really wish was a little louder sometimes). I’m placing bets that my current state is a result of listening instead to the Voice of Shoulds. And THAT voice, my friends, is a loud, bitchy, pushy, cranky, critical character. And for whatever reason, I’m most apt to listen to her when I have extra time on my hands.

Instead of taking some hibernation time to read a novel, watch some movies on Netflix, do extra delicious, blanket-swathed restorative practice, nap, dream and generally lie about and enjoy a break, my inner taskmaster set me to work. But so resistant was the rest of me- so desperately in need of having a break- I landed in a really unfulfilling limbo. I was neither uber-productive, crossing off long lists of tasks nor basking in the relaxation of unplanned, open, free time. #snowmageddonfail

And so I hereby vow to return to my regularly scheduled program of listening in and aiming for the ever-elusive bullseye called BALANCE. In the days ahead it is my goal and pledge to work and play in equal(ish) measure and find a middle ground between precision planning and free-for-all spontaneity. And more importantly, recognizing that that real, sustainable balance isn’t always found in the perfect 8-hour split, but rather a subtle wave that requires soft attention and flexibility to ride with grace.

I hope you fared better than I during these odd weeks. But if not, I invite you to take stock of what happened and why, and what is needed to get you back in balance. One day at a time.