Monday, October 27, 2008

busy but balanced (trying, anyway) . . .

The economy may be down (waaay down), but business is up for me. As an independent business and marketing writer (otherwise known as a freelancer), I'm lucky in that whenever financial times ebb, outsourcing seems to flow. And so I'm busy (waaay busy), and have been knee-deep in the sense of overwhelm such business busyness seems to tote along with it.

Overwhelmed not so much with the professional, but how to coordinate it with all the personal that still must be done, day to day, minute to minute ... meals, laundry, housework, homework, piano practice, piano lessons, car repair (mine recently became the parking lot victim of an overly exuberant Yukon), new puppy care (!!), birthday parties, Hallowe'en, Christmas shopping, allergies, exercise, water, and - oh, yeah - a little occasional luxury called sleep. Not to mention another week of election stress.

Ah, the balance conundrum rears it's pretty little unattainable head once again. I've determined that balance, like so much of life, is all about the journey rather than the destination. Balance is something to be sought, not caught. Maybe for a moment, an hour, a day here or there, you can achieve a feeling of "ahhh," balance. But ultimately, life is a perpetual shape-shifter, so to keep your balance means continuous adjustment.

For counsel about the best ways to adjust for balanced living, I've found no better resource than my dear friend Renée Trudeau. Whenever I'm feeling waaay tilted, I simple refer to her amazing book, The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal, to remind myself how to return to a relatively even keel.

Here are four keys of balanced living - which I'm trying to use to help guide my life today - according to the wise Renée:

1) Priorities and energy management - What's most important to me, and to what am I paying the most attention (hint hint: they should match)?

2) Self-renewal - What am I doing to take care of myself physically? mentally? emotionally? spiritually?

3) Support system - What am I willing to accept help with, and who am I willing to ask for that help?

4) Presence - As my husband once suggested, Eat the lunch. Focus in on what you're doing at this moment, do it, then move on to the next thing.

So, what do you do to bring yourself back from the teetering edge to a place called balance??

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