My fellow blogger buddy, Tef, pointed out in a post on his blog on June 11 about how he is taking some time to do some things that he enjoys during a prolonged break, which he titled “recuperation.” He described that doing these things helps to bring balance to his life, and keeps him sane. He described content of my blog posts and stated that I have a balanced life. Thanks, man, what a compliment! I am honored, truly.
Sometimes I really wonder how balanced my life is. I presume it depends on how one defines “balance.”
If you define balance by looking at the variety of things that I do and the people with whom I interact, then I guess you can say that my life is fairly well-balanced.
I have a full-time management position with a well-respected non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. The work challenges me every day, and requires superb skills of balancing time and schedules, responsiveness to staff, and tedium with financial accounting. But I love it. Great place to work, great staff, terrific intellectual stimulation.
But wait… there’s more! My life outside of work is, um, “rather full.”
Being involved in my community as a civic leader has defined, at least for me, what “civic duty” means. It is not always fun. It sometimes is tedious and tiring. It has taught me how to remain calm and build consensus. Ultimately, this volunteer work makes our home, our community, and our state a better place to live, work, raise a family, and enjoy life.
Caring for seniors is a joy, not a responsibility. Sure, there are times I feel overwhelmed or stretched, but I look at it this way: isn’t it nice to be in demand? Tools and smiles are on the way….
Keeping up our home and the rental properties I own is a non-ending set of ongoing tasks. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by that, too, but it all works out, eventually, even with competing demands for my time.
Blogging, maintaining my websites, reading (yes, I actually do read real books, at least one a week), playing political wonk, etc., etc., occupy a lot of my time as well. These activities also bring balance my life through diversity of activities.
Getting a chance to go swimming or for a long walk does not happen nearly as much as it should, but I enjoy those activities as well.
Writing letters to elected officials, public agencies, and private companies to lodge concerns, complaints, or suggest actions is something I do often. Call me “rent-a-kvetch,” where the rent is free for the satisfaction of resolving a pesky problem or advocating for a good idea.
In summary, I presume that one can say that my life is balanced, while others may say that it is out of control. However you measure it, I often think to myself (and discuss this with my partner and brother) that the activities I do are not to win affection nor to win titles or certificates of achievement, but rather to exercise what is to me a very spiritual thing: to provide service without expectation of reward or compensation. That’s my “life calling,” as taught to me by my parents, demonstrated to me by them and my mentors, supported by my partner, and carried out by me each day.
Life is short: show those you love that you love them, and remember to smile each time you do! … and tune in tomorrow to this same blog channel for the second in the series on balance: people!