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In Search of Balance


Balancing all the things I want to do has always been a major problem for me. I fill my planner with lists of things to accomplish each day. Some of them are mundane, do the laundry, buy groceries. Others are more exciting, visit grandchildren, work on the novel, plant new bulbs in the garden. Then there are some that threaten me with oatmeal brain, like content writing. Which for me, to use another metaphor, is like pulling teeth.

With the planner filled, I sometimes feel overwhelmed. And who doesn’t as we approach Thanksgiving, which leads quickly to Christmas? Sorry to mention the Ch-word before turkey day, but the retailers have been heralding Christmas’s arrival shortly before Halloween. Over the last few years, I’ve discovered that keeping myself centered or balanced keeps me mentally healthy. Gearing up for the impending holidays, I’m trying to put my words into practice.


Acceptance

For me, a large part of obtaining balance is recognizing what I can accomplish in a particular timeframe. This involves me admitting that my stamina is more limited than it once was. Accepting this change is the hardest part. Sometimes this means letting go of activities which don’t add something positive to my life. Other times, it means asking for help. Often it just means giving myself permission to rest. It’s amazing that we humans sometimes think we can stay in “go mode” for such extended periods of time.


Practice and Grace

I’m fortunate to spend these holidays with my children and grandchildren. My daughter will come the day before to help with preparation for Thanksgiving dinner. We’re lucky she can do this. But even if your family can’t come early to help prepare a holiday meal. Let go a little. Call someone in to peel the potatoes or stir the gravy. Finally, I’m learning to give myself “days off”. A day when I have nothing written in my planner. No housework. No visits. No writing other than the novel. Finally, I’m learning to give myself the same grace I give others. How many times do we tell others It’s alright, you’ve done well and you’ll get it done tomorrow? This year as I enter the preholiday whirlwind, I will give myself grace and try to stay balanced. I hope you remember to give yourself grace.

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