I used to think that achieve balance was like walking a tightrope. I did everything I could to get all my ducks in a row. I made charts, lists, graphs, and so many schedules I could have ran the entire world, if the world worked that way, unfortunately it doesn’t.
No matter how much effort it put in or how many different colors I use in my schedules, there is nothing I could do to make my world be static enough to find and achieve balance.
Balance requires flexibility, strength, humor, and Matrix like reflexes.
My husband’s new favorite quote is “The wave is coming: are you going to let it pound you or are you going to surf?”
I am trying to figure out how to surf. I’m not gifted with this level of flexibility. Have I mentioned I like all my ducks in a row? But I am getting better at this. One thing I do is avoid over planning. Instead of a schedule I have a list of what I need, want, and hope to get done. This creates a basic form, a surf board, to help me guide myself and family through each day. I breathe and take things as they come as best as I can.
While I am better about letting stuff go, those things I’m still holding onto, those few ducks I have super glued in place, when those are messed with, when my attempts at balance don’t work, well then you get pouting, bitchiness, and another moment of anti-Zen.
Today however I’m surfing and in my mind I look very graceful and hot too!
And for today music I have Seth Lakeman “White Hare” I don’t think I’ve posted this song yet. I adore him and if I lived in England I would so be a groupie.
Hey Alica! I think a lot of us have to-do lists that we endeavor to follow and feel good when we can tick them off, logging them as “done”, however I try not to feel overwhelmed by them. I actually didn’t used to have lists, and feel better when I at least have written them down and try to accomplish them as I go along in my life – taking care of family and myself along the way. We can become too tethered to those lists and never feel good about any day, if the list is still “there”. I don’t think I’ll ever have an empty list, so I have to enjoy each day as it comes and do the best I can and be happy with any tasks I can do. If I can’t do any, then I’ll try again later.
Yes, I do so much better with a list I don’t try to have an empty list just try and keep a vague idea of what needs to be done floating around.
From the middle of August to the middle of June (if not longer) my to-do list never ever reaches zero, and some of those low priorities never rise high enough to get done, and only get deleted once they’re moot. And yeah, I’m guilty of thinking that if I just work hard enough, if I just destroy myself enough, I’ll be able to accomplish all my goals. So I like your metaphor, if only because surfing is a nice, laid-back way of looking at things. I need to remember that some things just need to slide. Cool post!
Thanks Joe! I don’t try and get my list empty, but I do try and get a few things crossed off every day 🙂 Don;’ drive yourself nuts and remember to put things that are important to you on the list- watching a movie, reading, hiking, whatever it is that you do, it’s just as important as doing the dishes 🙂
I like your husband’s quote. I try to focus on going with the flow instead of batteling upstream. The wave goes along with my analogy, so I’m going to use it. Balance can be hard, especially when it goes against our natural instincts. That’s when I think we have to take the time to figure out what is under those instincts and habbits. Maybe there is some fear we can deal with that will lead to balance. I recently realized that life doesn’t have to be about suffering, and it has opened a whole new door for me. It may seem small, but it’s big for me.
It’s very big, we don;t have to suffer, we can say no to things we don;t want to do and yes to those we do want to do. Going with the flow is great- I use it a lot too. Thanks Emma.
i’m a listy, grafty, color coding sort of person too. it causes me a lot of suffering when shit starts getting all over the place. i think maybe i need some surfing lessons, i am sorta getting tired of being pounded by the waves.
LOL- yes the more flexibility in life the easier. It’s much easier to move with what’s happening then trying to force life into a graph
I loved this post! Just what we need to hear as we come into the new year and make 500 resolutions we can’t possibly keep. I also have a to-do list and order it (pretty much in my head) as must-do’s and desire-do’s. I have learned to let more things go as I age and get a bird’s eye view. I love the wave analogy, though. I am SO going to use that!
Thank you so much Julie! Letting go is a huge lesson!
I have lists of things to make list about. I save old lists. I’ve even framed completed lists when I needed confirmation it was possible to complete everything on a list. I love lists. Love them.
Lists are the only way I get anything done, have any clue where I need to be on any given day, and keep me from curling up on the floor of the closet when I can’t remember who I am. Life won’t always be this busy. There are days when I love surfing and others when it actually feel good to let the wave pummel me under the water.
You gotta take the good with the bad, the up with the down, and the surf with the tide.
PS – loved the song…another one to add to my iTunes list. List! Hah!
I’m glad you liked the song! Lists are crazy important! I have no idea what I would do without mine! I think I need to embrace being pummeled I always fight it.
Thanks for the new quote and New Year’s inspiration. I’m going to surf life this year! 🙂 Also, thanks for introducing me to Seth Lakeman. Nice. Hang in there in your happy place, Alica. We’re all in this with you.
Thanks Jolyse! Surfing just helps me focus better it so much more fluid. And Seth Lakeman sighs- he’s so great and pretty- he might wind up in a book someday.