Thursday, January 15, 2015

"Balance" a word I strive to get.

My good friend and I were talking on Tuesday, actually I was complaining and whining to her about my seasonal depression/Januaryitis  (I don't clinically have this diagnosis, but every January I seem to get in the same funk).  I start to question the "what's" and "if's" in life.  Personally and worldly I start to throw different questions around in my noggin. What could I be doing better?  What could I do to be a better mother?  If I worked harder on my writing/reading will that really matter? If I don't run again in a race of substantial distance how will I maintain a healthy weight?  If I don't find my exercise mojo again will I ever know that happiness that training and running gave me?  What am I doing with this great gift called "life"?  What is faith?  What does all of "this" mean?

I like celebrating New Year's Eve and like to think about all that is to come in the new year- you know me and my planning.  This year it has been different.  I'm not scheduled for any races or really following any training schedule.  So I'm filling this void with trying to focus on more reading, more writing, and trying to work on my "faith journey".  By "faith journey" I mean I'm trying to figure out what I believe about faith, religion, God, and how that all somehow intricately entwines.  Don't worry I'm not becoming a religious fanatic- I'm just trying to figure out what "faith" means to me and for me. 

So with the missing piece of the puzzle being physical exercise (other than PT, and some cardio) I'm also awakened to the fact that my clothes are fitting tighter and I'm really not liking the numbers on the scale.  I've gone from a sometimes two times a day workout girl with a training scheduled planned out for months in advance- to a once every other day of cardio and some weights/PT, and still not feeling 100%post knee.  One week I will have great workouts and then the next week my knee just feels not quite right: tight, sore, stiff, etc.  No pain so I keep doing the PT and cardio, but the weeks I feel 50% I don't do as much.  So to add to my new year's improvement list gets added the ever fun revelation that I need to eat healthier, get control of my food portions, cut down on adult beverages, etc, etc. 

All of these desires to be better in the new year sometimes makes me feel overwhelmed and a little panicked.  Ever since last year I've been feeling this urge to live life to its fullest- be the best chattynatty I can be.  A tall and tough order and easy to fail at. 

So as I was talking to this good friend on Tuesday I said the word "balance" and she responded that balance is one of those unattainable goals (my paraphrase of what she stated).  It is an "elusive" word as she put it.  Balance is something I would like to strive for, but is this goal of having it all and feeling balanced at the same time possible?  Can I be a professional and be fully passionate about my profession, my care of patients, and continually better my knowledge on the patients I care for while also being the best mom I can (not an inpatient, tired, crabby, really done with meal planning), or trying to be the best writer I can without paying a fortune for higher education, and reading with a "purpose" not just reading for the sake of reading.  Oh- and add the other lofty goal of finding the answers to my "faith journey" questions.  How does all of that fit evenly to keep my see saw of life in balance- well my friend is right I think this balance is elusive and unattainable.

So good friend talked me down from the ledge and all my problems and my "Januaryitis" weren't magically treated, but I did feel better, as I always do after commiserating with good friend about solving life's problems.  Then another dear friend sent me this beautiful verse stating that she read it and thought about me.
Isaiah 58:11
"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  you will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."

I responded that I really needed to read and hear this because I was having a tough time of it.  I told her my "woes" of the week- feeling frumpy/dumpy because of my weight, my frustration with my exercise life, etc, etc.  Her response-
 You must also realize that everybody loves you not for that 1 or 2 pounds over or under but for that effervescent personality of yours and the way you listen and care for others with such attention.  Focus on your strengths, your intellectual mind, your faith, your deep love of family and the joy you bring each other, of your professional demeanor, of your listening skills and your ability to laugh, of your ability to bring people together like in book club...the list goes on.  Celebrate your many strengths sister!
Then she told me to chant "I'm a well watered garden."

The reality check I needed from two dear friends.  I think I'll give the word "balance" up and just focus on "life" or better yet "living life".  If I focus on "living life"  instead of looking at January, post holidays, post celebrations with family and friends and finding the cold and lack of sun seeping into my pores, I will instead embrace this "life" as a time to sit, think, ponder, and then go out and find those answers to all the "what's and if's" out there.  Throwing out "balance" for "living" the  best chattynatty life I can.

I'm a well watered garden. I'm a well watered garden. I'm a well watered garden... 

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