I’m sure by now you’ve seen the word of the year meme floating around on blogs. When I saw the first one, I immediately started thinking about what my word for 2014 would be. Should be. What does my year look like and what will I need to make it through?
Starting next Monday, I’m going back to work full time. I’ve been offered a full time writing position and it’s too good an offer to pass up. But it will mean finding balance again. Restructuring our routine. Again.
The lack of balance is what drove me to quit teaching. I couldn’t give enough of myself so I felt like I was suffering everywhere. I’m determined not to make that mistake again and part of it comes from the fact that I’ve done some soul-searching about what it means to have a life that’s balanced.
In my head I see a scale, the kind with two hanging platforms. To achieve equilibrium between the two requires a constant on and off of stuff from either side until they rest on the same level. That’s what having a balanced life is. At least that’s what I think it is.
It doesn’t mean being able to give evenly to everything all at the same time, dividing up your Life Pie into equal portions and divvying it out while saving none for yourself.
It means recognizing where I’m needed and where I’m not. It means that when I say yes to one thing, I need to say no to another. It means putting myself on the scales and weighing my own needs against the needs of others.
I know it won’t be easy to find this balance. I’m a giver by nature. When I love what I’m doing, I will throw my whole being into it. I’m the kind of person who gives and gives to others and some of my greatest frustrations come when I feel like that giving isn’t being returned to me. Maybe that sounds selfish.
I know that in 2014 my scales will tip too far in one direction or the other, probably often, because balance is delicate. It’s almost always in flux.
Until I find my balance, I’m giving myself grace. This is going to be tough to do, but I know it has to be done. There is balance to be found out there. Somehow. And I will find it.