I’ve been thinking about balance a lot lately. It keeps sneaking up on me in different ways: diet, sleep, life/work, falling, or not falling.
So, let’s start at the beginning. According to dictionary.com, there are 29 definitions for balance; I’ll just stick with the first one:
- a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.
(I admit, I had to look up equipoise, means balance.)
Here’s what I like about that definition: distribution.
For a life to be in balance, a person needs a variety of interests and activity (some people refer to the different types as the “Wheel of Life”). Because different interests and activities have different levels of importance (weight), finding the right distribution to reach equilibrium can be difficult.
We are currently over 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, people had no choice but to spend more time with their families because all the other activities were cancelled. Not surprisingly, turns out people like getting to know their families and not always rushing about hither and yon. Also, not surprisingly, parents are sick of having their kids under foot ALL THE TIME and are glad that some activities (like GOING to school) are back.
So, what’s the right balance? Hopefully, family time has gained some importance. And family time takes many forms. Time with the kids is good. Yet, time with the spouse without the kids is also good and deserves its own weight.
I don’t have kids, so that’s not part of my balancing act. I found, however, that time with my parents has taken on new meaning. Family dynamics are weird, so the fact that I go many months without seeing my parents – even though they live close by – was not a big deal. Not being able to hug my parents when I did see them, however, became a big deal for me. Two weeks after the last of us (me) was vaccinated, we had hugs, and dinner.
People talk about work/life balance a lot. Personally, I agree with whoever said that there is no such thing. Sometimes work demands more of us than we’d like and sometimes life pulls us away from work. Entrepreneurs/business owners/the self-employed probably feel these tugs on their attention more than the rest of the population. When all is said and done, work will always be there, so as long as the bills are paid, I believe that the people we love have the greater weight.
Sleep is something that I struggle with – have for as long as I can remember. Probably because I have such a contentious relationship with sleep, I am not one of those people who thinks that I’ll sleep enough when I die. Tired Lorrie is grumpy Lorrie, and people fear grumpy Lorrie. Luckily, I discovered the magical powers of acupuncture a career or so ago and my battles with sleep are now more spats than full on warfare.
When COVID hit, there was no need for me to wake up at 6am, so I changed my alarm to 7. The world of difference that did for my sleep – and overall ability to deal with life – was so ginormous that I’m not willing to go back. The balance that hour has given me is too important. So, I’m adjusting other aspects of my life to keep it.
As for not falling down … I have enough trouble keeping myself upright, I’ve got no help for you here.
– Lorrie Nicoles