Balance-The Goal for 2016 and Beyond

We’ve all heard it before: Too much of anything is not good. Despite how healthy, how passionate, or how great a habit might be, a balanced life is one well lived and enjoyed. Balance gives us an even footing. Living and working in a balanced fashion gives us the best of both worlds and an opportunity to not sacrifice one aspect of life for another. As we enter 2016, I’ve reflected on what is most important to me at this stage in my life, and that is balance. I want to live a balanced life. I desire to not allow one thing to take precedence over another, but to live and work in a way that is balanced and harmonious. So I guess my one word for 2016 is balance. How will I improve this in my life? Well, below are a few thoughts.

I recently took a 30 day hiatus from Twitter, Instagram, and all social media-including this blog. What I found astonished me. I was more present in my conversations with family and friends. There was not a feeling of being less informed as I had initially thought. In fact, I was less stressed, my thoughts were clearer and my reality less interrupted by the latest tweet. I was present and I liked it a lot. I’m trying to decide how I might utilize social media in a more balanced fashion instead of just reading Twitter at the first instance of downtime. I’m thinking of creating a set time to review Twitter but not an everyday, throughout the day routine anymore. I want to be present in my reality as much as possible and to do that I can’t share all my “moments” with Twitter. I also placed an automatic reply on my email which helped immensely. In a world where everything has the potential to be  convenient and quickly addressed, we find ourselves so committed to being available to everyone else that we aren’t available to ourselves, our families, or our friends. While I understand the necessity of communication, I will work to be more balanced which might mean not being available 24/7. In all reality, who can be present to everyone and everything all the time? When we commit to doing so, we inadvertently make ourselves unavailable to someone or some thing. There has to be a better way.

I began running and exercising on a more routine basis this past June. As my workouts became more routine, I noticed a greater spiritual and physical balance. I saw my anxiety reduced, stress decreased, and overall mood and attitude improved. On top of it, I lost a few pounds. While I don’t desire to become obsessive about excercising, I want it to become a part of the balance in my life. This year I plan to make working out a routine part of my balanced life because it is good for me physically, mentally, and spiritually. I also have high hopes of eating a more balanced diet. Being a principal makes that difficult. Long hours and late nights can make a drive thru attractive and seem necessary. I’m going to do my best to make good choices about what I eat all the time for the sake of balance.

I’m also going to take the time to enjoy things outside of work. While I enjoy working very much, the social aspect of our lives are often what gets us through the tough times of life. When I began working on my doctorate in 2009, I became a principal by day and student by nights and weekends. Now two years after I’ve completed my degree, I find myself catching up with dear friends who I’ve seen minimally because of work or school. That’s going to change. If life is about relationships, which I so deeply believe, I’ve got some work to do to maintain and grow some of the dearest friendships I’ve made this side of heaven. I realized recently that my best friends since my freshman year at Clemson will celebrate our 21st year of friendship in August. We’re all busy with work and life, but that deserves celebrating. So we are making plans for a celebration, and I will be present sans Twitter, email, etc. so that I don’t miss the moment.

Until Next Time-be you, be true, be a hope builder!

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