Every year as I hit the peak of my busy speaking season, I feel out of balance. I lament at how out of shape I am, how out of control my life feels, how little time I am spending with my friends, how disconnected I am with my yoga practice. It is a different version of the same story each fall speaking season. Just as I begin to despair, I am given the gift of perspective. I remind myself that this “unbalance” has only gone on for six weeks. Although it feels like a precarious balance of kids, work and fitness and it seems as though time will never be regained, I remind myself that balance is an overall concept, not something that has to be measured day by day, week by week. There are seasons where we exercise more, work more, play more with our kids. I find it helps to look at the entire year. Oh yes, I took off a month in the summer to play with my kids, and then I remember that overall I have done an average of five workouts a week—not bad for a busy mom. And I remind myself of the lovely family reunion this summer and about the days I took off to be with my brother and his wife after their little boy was born. Maybe my life isn’t that unbalanced after all. It is good to regularly take inventory of our lives. Does how we spend our time reflect our values? Are we taking care of ourselves? How do we need to reorganize our life to fit in a few more walks or workouts? Are we taking time each evening to play with our kids? This week my 11 year old son, William, brought out an old bag of marbles and together we discovered the fun of playing a game just before bedtime. A great moment together to find out what is happening in his world.
Sure enough - after a few days at home, a few consistent mornings of rising to workout and making pancakes with the kids, I feel back in synch again. The balance in my life is magically restored as I stop beating myself up for being so busy and instead celebrate another busy fall season completed and the balance I have managed to maintain. Balance is a journey, not a destination.