Oh, boy. I kinda rolled my eyes for a moment when I looked at the heading that I wrote down months ago. I mean, balance? How do I tackle to write about something I still struggle with?
Yeah, well, here goes.
Balance, balance, balance…
When I think of the word, I picture Yoda on the back of Luke Skywalker as he’s trying to levitate rocks. That’s kinda what life is like, right? Juggling and levitating rocks. That sounds as fun as a barrel of monkeys.
Let’s face it, there are more rocks to juggle now than our parents had before us and because of that there seems to be an ever growing trend trap that most of us have fallen into:
I’m not talking about having cashmere carpet like Elton John or flying squirrel suits over mountains (though, those would definitely apply). I’m talking about the extreme living where you go up, up, UP until you hitch the nearest rollercoaster to a plummeting spiral for the weeks following.
Don’t get me wrong, those upward climbs are great. I’ve danced the night away 11 days in a row then had shin splints for two weeks following. But like all things: What goes up, must come down.
Have you ever seen the commercial where the lawyer goes “I want my money, and I want it NOW”?
Well, I think that accurately represents where our society is in terms of life. We are on a freedom high in our current generation. There are a whole WORLD of carrots out there being dangled around us and if there is anything America has taught us very well, its Supply and Demand. This paired with the love/hate relationship we all have with credit, we find a false power in living beyond our means. This continuous ‘want, take, have’ attitude leads us on this never-ending climb-and-fall that is just plain exhausting!
Yes, “yes” can open doors of exploration, and I appreciate that people are marketing how to live a free life. However, like everything, its use is situational. There should be a direction label!
Use sparingly and apply only where needed. For external use only.
Another aspect to this madness is physicality expressing itself, as always, through the need for more. There is such importance in appreciation!
Just the other day, I read a story in a newsletter for Operation Christmas Child. This little girl was so happy to get a teddy bear. You see, she just lost her Mother and all she wanted was a hug. And now she could do that, because she had something to hold on to.
This showed me the importance of being grateful of what one has. I know its easy to get caught up in the commercials on TV for the next hot item, that new milkshake at dairy queen, or that upcycled bottle cap table for 2 grand that you could honestly DIY.
Balancing your time can make all the difference. You’ll feel more gratified by the experience of becoming a little less-dependant on the world.
Maybe you just don’t have that kind of time and it’s more a matter of convenience. You constantly GoGoGo, and barely have a moment to yourself. Giving your time is also your energy, and the more you give makes it that much more important to replenish. Setting aside an hour to read quietly or meditate can help with that, but perhaps you’re too tired to focus without falling asleep. Take a bath, drink some wine and watch the sunset, even water your plants. Whatever puts you in that Zen zone: Do it!
Then there are those where time is not the issue. Maybe you get a little too caught up in the relaxing, that you forget to live. Jumping in the car without thinking for a quick adventure or walking to the park can really make quite a difference in your sense of accomplishment. Not only that, it can inspire you to strive for more. Take it a step further on the productive scale and share the experience with a friend or family member.
Nothing to say?
Catch up with a trip to the bookstore and just mull over the environment together. There’s a certain quality in time shared with people you care about.
And if no one in particular pops in your mind, I get that. Henry David Thoreau wasn’t the only person to live a life of solitude and I’ve had my moments. Maybe you’re not the social type or you just haven’t come across a lot of friends in today’s digital age. Giving your time to those who will appreciate it more than you has its benefits. It’s a great way to meet people who aren’t trying to finagle something out of you and of those with like minds.
Aside from the social aspects, there is some beneficial reverse psychology in it as well. I’m ashamed to say that there have been times where I have volunteered and once I was there, I could not WAIT to get home. So, yeah, I don’t get a gold star for compassion, but it made me realize to appreciate and re-find the joy in what I had. We’ll call it a 2 for 2.
Good luck out there! When I find the exit to this wonky hurler coaster, I’ll draw you a map.
Till then, follow the breadcrumbs!
Thanks for reading!
What’s your take on the daily grind?
What have you found that works to help you keep balance?
Don’t keep it to yourself. We’re dying to know!
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