“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.”
- Jana Kingsford
A balanced life, to me, means striking an equilibrium while managing our many roles, including, but not limited to, being a spouse, parent, sibling, child, employee and friend. In the About page of my blog, I spoke of my passion for maintaining a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle. This passion wasn’t always so well-defined and clear in my mind, however. It was only after moving to the small town of Hampton with my partner of 10 years that my ‘aha’ moment took place. We moved to pursue careers in our respective fields. After a whirlwind summer of finding employment, getting married, building a house and moving into said house, everything appeared to have been planned and executed to perfection. We seemed set. It was only after of few weeks into this new, albeit exciting chapter of our lives…the ‘happily ever after’ chapter, that I began to feel overwhelmed by the pressures of maintaining it all – a perfect marriage, a perfect home, a content and well-exercised dog, a healthy and happy self, an endlessly fulfilling career…and the list goes on. At first, my Type A, micro-managing self took on the challenge head on. I began to think of my life as a pie chart, arbitrarily attributing percentages to the different aspects of my life (e.g.: 30% of my time will be spent doing work-related tasks, 25% will be spent towards husband-time, etc). Without changing a thing in my routine or my perspective on life, I tricked my mind into thinking that I had suddenly founda balance. I eventually realized, however, that nothing had changed and that I still felt as overwhelmed, and stretched thin, as I did beforehand.
It was only after thinking back to conversations had with my students in a classroom and with clients in my office that I began to realize that I was going about it the wrong way. In situations where others ask for help or an opinion on a problem, it is easy to highlight what needs to change. However, upon reflecting on a problem in your own life, change sometimes seems impossible…or at least really, really hard. Here I was trying to find balance in my life, but never really feeling like I found it. What was missing was the aspect of change - changing old routines and habits in order to createthe balanced life that I was seeking. Since this realization, I have consciously created opportunity for change by seeking out and implementing various forms of self-care practices. I have consequently seen a significant improvement in my overall sense of happiness. Do I still feel overwhelmed at times? Yes. Do I still have moments where I feel riddled with anxiety? Yes. My situation is not always perfect, but I now have a plethora of tools that I can use to improve it.
This brings me to why I have decided to add blogging to my never-ending ‘to-do’ list. In addition to feeling passionate about maintaining a healthy and balanced life, I am also passionate about helping others achieve a similar balance. By sharing my personal experiences and self-care discoveries, as well as knowledge and resources gained in a professional setting, my hope is to provide tools to help manage those moments of overwhelm. A balanced life, I believe, goes hand-in-hand with a healthy mentality. A healthier and more balanced life gives way for a clearer mind, and an overall more fulfilling life.