The Importance of Balance

Last week was a whirlwind – travel to New York and back in less than 48 hours, and 2 speaking engagements in a day and a half, the second of which I spoke two hours straight, with shmooze-time on either side.

No yoga in there, no exercise. Certainly no time for a game of tennis. 

I meditated every morning and on the flights, but it wasn’t enough to balance the exertions of my events with the incredible peace and focus we need on the other side to maintain equilibrium.

After Tuesday’s speaking engagement, I went to work. And Wednesday. And Thursday.

Friday morning, I went to yoga first, then arrived to work mid-morning – after all, I work for myself for a reason, not to let the work run me, but to build the kind of life I want to live. Except I wasn’t living that way. I was being a slave to the work as opposed to steering the ship toward a life of overall balance and clarity.

So Friday, I took the reins back into my hands and asserted myself. The day was incredible. Interactions I had long anticipated as particularly cantankerous were smooth and easy. Things got done. People were happy.

And I left the office at 6 pm without a binder or folder of work to do over the weekend.

Saturday morning, I awoke and crept downstairs while Dan slept to snuggle under blankets in front of the television. There I stayed for the entire morning – I can’t tell you the last time I did that! 

Dan work, dressed, went to Eastern Market and returned and I remained prone on the couch. Comfortable, relaxed, peaceful.

Had an early afternoon call with my business coach, then a long luxurious massage. I barely stepped outside on a sunny Saturday but that’s ok. I had gone to such extremes earlier in the week that come weekend, I need to go to the other extreme.

That’s not an ok formula for a successful life. Ultimately, we need balance in every day, not one pendulum-swing to the next from early week to weekend. 

And so going forward, I am not letting that become the pattern of my life. I am instituting balance as the ultimate goal for each and every day, so that everything I do is at its highest level.

Today: an hour of work this morning, followed by time with the children. Final soccer game of the season, take the team for ice cream after, go to the movies with the kids, an easy mellow dinner of homemade lentil soup and salad, then soothing baths and reading before bed.

Three days in the week ahead will begin with yoga and work will have to fall in line after that. Balance is written in invisible ink across my brow, a constant reminder of what I want my life to be as opposed to what it has become without any input from me.

We would all do well to understand who’s leading the helm of our lives. Is it you? Is it someone else? Is it some inexplicable force you cannot see or hear but which you inadvertently bow to each day without realizing it?

Take back the charge. Make your life what you want it to be. It’s easier than you think.

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