The Elusive But Vital Pursuit of Balance, Part 571

TDsweatsTHINGS WERE proceeding smoothly, until suddenly they weren’t. Everything blew up.

Work exploded, as the calendar moved into my department’s busiest time of the year and we took on a major new project on top of our usual other duties.

Home exploded, as the girls added play rehearsal and spring sports to their already lengthy litany of activities, as I tacked t-ball coaching to my bulletin board of commitments, and as J. and I delved further into the planning stages of a big-time renovation initiative.

And I exploded, as months of wintertime consumption and hibernation had me feeling heavy and dull, my clothes uncomfortable and my body looking decidedly middle-aged.

No wonder, perhaps, that reading and writing dropped off.

I’m trying my hardest to turn it around, a little at a time, starting with the things I can control the most.

I started running.

I’m up to four miles a day, three days a week, which barely qualifies as running but which is more than I’ve ever run in my life. My wind and stamina have improved markedly, and I’m down about five pounds.

The next target, I think, is ruthless control over what I put in my body. Weekdays haven’t been bad of late, but weekends offer the false hope that because they’re only two days, overindulgence won’t be as harmful. My waistline testifies otherwise. Time, then, to double-down on healthier and wiser eating.

Reading and writing are trickier for me. It’s easier to focus on those physical goals — I can tell myself, legitimately, that they will lengthen my life and increase its quality. Minding my intellectual and creative health has less tangible and therefore more easily overlooked benefits.

Those benefits do exist, though. I know they do, because I’ve experienced them before. Hell, just writing this makes me feel better.

Work isn’t going to calm down. Nor is home. Nor am I. But I can certainly be more mindful of balancing these areas of my life more carefully, so that each complements the others rather than overwhelming them. | DL

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