By Annabel Fitzsimmons
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 enjoy running marathons alone. I am energized by social activities, but am lost without my meditative, silent hours. My life oscillates between busy, highly productive days and days that I spend recharging and revelling in doing nothing. As long as I can remember, I have walked a fine line in finding the balance of these two extremes in my life.
When Jamie asked me to blog about what balance means to me, I was struck by the fact that my journey to discover personal balance has informed my career, my family life, and everything in between.
What I have learned is that balance is a shifting concept. It is formless, its nature is constantly changing. Your balance one day may not be your balance the next. Or next month, or next year. I try to re-evaluate – and, if necessary, redefine – my balance on a daily basis. And balance is also extremely subjective.
In my work as a fitness and wellness professional, I have witnessed many clients striving to fulfill a prescribed idea of balance – as if there is a specific formula to follow. After all, who doesn’t want to live the most balanced life? But in my experience, following someone else’s idea of balance is a surefire way to make it more elusive.
Today, balance for me meant taking 20 minutes to journal at the end of the day and grabbing a cuddle with my husband after taking care of a sick newborn and toddler on three hours sleep. But tomorrow balance might be going out for a 5km run, pitching an article, writing a press release, teaching a couple of classes and returning all my outstanding phone calls.
Whatever the circumstances of each day, I make sure to put aside 20 minutes of time for me, to clear space for an activity that makes me happy. This allows me a bit of perspective and I can maintain an equilibirium between the things I want to do, I need to do and that I should do.
Balance. Isn’t it a great thing to explore?
Annabel Fitzsimmons is a writer, a yoga and Pilates teacher, and is the founder www.clearspaceonline.com, the premiere online resource for “living your balance”. She started the ClearSpace initiative to encourage people to put aside 20 minutes a day for themselves to do something mindful, physical or soulful.