A Recipe for Balance? by Annabel Fitzsimmons
I have one word for you: balance. Did you just laugh out loud? Did spit out your coffee? Did you look around a living room strewn with toys and say one of the following: “Balance is unattainable,” “It’s a crock,” “There’s no way I can find any kind of balance in my life right now”? Well, you’re not alone!
So, why does the concept of balance (and the idea of attaining it) bring up so many conflicting emotions?
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m going to admit right now that I believe everyone can find a sense balance in their life. But that it’s our expectations of what balance “should look like” that trips us up.
At ClearSpace Online, our motto is: Live Your Balance. Over the years I have encountered a lot of resistance to the word balance. But let me ask you to think about this phrase for a moment. In my experience, the word “balance” could not be there if it were not for the word “your”. By bringing the words together – “your balance” – individuality and uniqueness is implied. Add the active word “live” to the beginning of the phrase, and we’re talking about engaging in your life.
Because to me, balance is about finding what works for YOU, what makes YOU happy. I know that what I consider balance in my average day looks like an absolute nightmare to some of my friends. And in some cases, likewise.
Take my life: I like to be busy, but I love my quiet time. I thrive on being involved in collaborative projects, but I am equally driven in solo ventures. I like running with a run club, but I enjoy running marathons alone. I want to spend every waking moment with my kids, but I cannot wait to put them to bed at night. I am energized by social activities, but I am lost without my silent meditation. My life oscillates between busy, highly productive days and days that I spend recharging and revelling in doing nothing.
My life happens between the extremes. And for me the meaning of balance is flexible, it seems to swing like a pendulum. And because your life is uniquely yours, if what you do stays true to what makes you happy, then in my opinion you’re living “your balance.” Balance isn’t a destination that you suddenly arrive at one day. It is a constantly shifting concept that changes according to your life circumstances. It is also not a specific formula that calls for equal parts work/life/play. Each person has a unique recipe for balance, and this is only discovered by experimenting with the ingredients.
So, what’s in your recipe for balance?