As I’ve alluded to in my first Facebook post of the year, I absolutely love the opportunity that the beginning of a new year presents. Fresh! New! Balance! Moderation! As such, the 1st of January seems like an excellent time to talk about resolving to balance life.
Because life is busy. We don’t stop. It’s incredibly easy to get to mid-afternoon and realise that we haven’t eaten properly, or been to the bathroom, because something else has taken priority. How ridiculous is that? That we legitimately allow anything to come above our basic human functions like nourishing ourselves or using the bathroom.
So I’m sharing with you my resolution for the year – to be more balanced
(Full disclosure – I have two ‘other’ resolutions:
1. To learn to cook properly (at a level I can be proud of instead of mildly horrified)
2. To read fiction every day. Not to listen to it in the car, while trying to be ever more organised. But to sit, and read. Purposefully.
If I take care of these two specifics, I’m enabling the main resolution, and if I take care of the main resolution, I’m most likely making time for these.
But the ‘main’ one, the one that I want to permeate through into my daily actions, is that of having a balanced life. And I’m purposefully not making it more specific.)
Why so vague, Julia?
Simply because there are many ways I can implement this:
• By putting my language studies on a par with ‘life admin’ – being able to speak to my in-laws more fluently will make for less nerve-wracking visits and more enjoyment of the beautiful Italian culture
• By scheduling exercise. Saying ‘I’ll get the yoga mat out every day’ isn’t enough for me sadly. I need to promise I’ll be there, and possibly pay in advance! So many times I’ve dressed for post-school run yoga and found something I deem to be ‘more vital’. Ditto for scheduling chiropractor visits. They are a non-negotiable as I enter my 37th year!
• By giving myself permission to rest when I have a migraine. This is sometimes at least half of the days in a week, and I have no doubt that making time to rest would enable a faster recovery.
• By getting outdoors, properly, every day. We know that the car is king in Malta. The majority of my stress comes from being behind the wheel. I’m hoping to shift the pace down a gear by walking to the farm to buy vegetables instead of hopping in the car every time. Probably the stress of the traffic and finding parking equals the time taken to stroll there and back. Even once a week would be a great break.
• By saying yes to events and occasions that bring more joy, and no to those that bring more stress.
• By eating well. I’m terribly guilty of falling into the trap of ‘lunch doesn’t matter as I’m only feeding myself’. Alas, that approach fails when I’m ready for a snooze right around school pick-up time! Quick and healthy lunches are essential for my physical health, I’ve come to realise. More so than any other meal of the day.
Expectation vs reality?
Realistically I won’t manage all of these every day. That isn’t a failure. Life throws us all sorts of unexpected treats and challenges, so I’m not going to denounce myself as a failure if I miss a walk one day because I have a parent meeting. If I can manage to do something, each day, to ensure there is *more* balance and intention, that is enough.
The need for a balanced life
We all need balance. When we put ourselves last, we begin to struggle, mentally and physically. You can’t pour from an empty cup. And so on.
I wish you the best start to this year, for yourself. It isn’t selfish to consider your own needs. Its essential.