Monday, April 4, 2011

Friend Makin' Monday, plus: the art of balance

I was having such trouble with motivation and balance yesterday.  I'll tell you all about it, but first, it's Friend Makin' Monday so I have some questions to answer!

FMM: Describe Your Dream Mate

My dream mate is kind.  He is gentle and loving to animals and in-laws.  He knows when something is going to make you sad, even before you do.  He comforts you when it does.  He's honest to everyone he meets, and loyal to everyone he loves.

My dream mate is supportive.  He is a cheerleader when you're winning, and especially when you feel like you're going to fail.  He goes with you to exercise classes, even when he's feeling shy.  He is behind you 100% when you're working on yourself, and does nothing to sabotage your good work.  And when you want to sabotage your own good work, he doesn't criticize.  He doesn't ignore your pain.  He takes you in his arms, and he dances with you.  He just dances with you.

My dream mate is funny.  He may be quiet in crowds, but when he does speak up, it is always something that makes people laugh.  And they rarely see it coming.

My dream mate is smart.  He has a good understanding of the world and how it works, he follows the news, he reads, he absorbs facts like a sponge, which makes him a formidable competitor at any trivia game.  He remembers telephone numbers (as I do not.)

My dream mate likes pretty much exactly what I like, when it comes to movies or hobbies or people or design.  Maybe there's a few differences thrown in for good measure.  There has to be something to debate, after all.

And I'll admit that the description of my dream mate might make you might laugh, and tell me he doesn't exist, and that it's very unlikely I'd ever be lucky enough to meet him if he did.  But you'd be wrong on both counts.  I was surprised that he existed, too.  So I married him.


On to balance and motivation, and a challenging day yesterday.

As has been the case since January, I was happy to do everything related to my weight loss journey.  Plan food for the week? Check.  Eat planned food for the day? Check.  Go to the gym? Check.  Blog about weight loss journey? Check.

But as has been the case since January, being so successful with my health has caused the balance to shift.  Everything that I used to do easily (while I avoided taking care of myself) is like pulling teeth now that I'm focusing on my health.  So when it came to anything else yesterday... dishes, laundry, journaling, bill-paying, writing, meditation... you name it, I tried to shirk out of it.  Successfully.  Just before our planned departure time for the gym, I was in pieces. And in tears.  There's so much that I want out of life.  And so much of it starts with these little tasks that I sometimes struggle with.  Writing leads to career.  Bill-paying leads to house-buying.  Laundry leads to looking cute, putting your best foot forward, and not smelling.  Doing dishes leads to avoiding bug infestation, and we ALL appreciate that.

I urgently want the career, the house, the peace of mind. (And following that, the other, more unspoken desire: the kid I can't afford in LA without those things.) So why is it so damned hard sometimes?

Before Tom lovingly nudged the gym bag into my hands, I posted one sentence on Facebook:

"I used to do everything but take care of myself.  Now I work hard to take care of myself, but everything else feels like a struggle.  Will I ever be able to balance?"

When I got back from my swim (and since then) I've received such insightful replies that I wanted to share some of them with you, here.  Because so many people seek balance and it may well be the eternal struggle.  For your inspiration, here are some of my friends' thoughts on balance:

Erica says: "I think there will be a point where balance is found... but it takes time and practice, just like living healthier."

Lisa says:  "I always think of balance as a pendulum on a string.  It gets pulled too hard in one direction, it has to swing back and forth to achieve balance again.  But it always swings by balance on the way back and forth, so you can at least keep your eye on it and know where it is."

Cynthia says:  "In dance, balance is something that is always - slightly - maintained, but is the place you start from, again and again, only to move beyond the point of being centered.  Getting back there, that is where the struggle is, that is where life is lived.  Rejoice in the act of coming to center and bursting forth."

Today the pendulum has been heading back to center again.  I'm waving at it as I pass by.  I rejoice as I burst forth.


  1. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww I love it! As I was reading I thought " sounds like she's describing someone specific. I wonder if she realizes it. I wonder if he realizes it." Yes! Yay! Best post of the week! =)

  2. Balance is always a moving target. What seems centered today is not tomorrow. As life changes every day that center of balance changes. My center is not what it was before your mother passed and and seems on a daily basis to be somewhat beyond my control. Life now is all about finding that balance for today, if only for today. Use those changes as a challenge to find the "you" of the moment. By the way I knew all along that Tom wha your "kindred spirit" Praise the Lord you found each other. I cannot think of a richer gift than a life long relationship of support!!! Dad

  3. Balance is a tricky thing, because it means different things to different people (as do most things, actually). I'm kind of having the same struggle as you, and finding it's impossible to get *everything* done. I'm not even doing the bill-paying! I guess I've got a kid thrown in the mix, so it works out to the same unbalanced sort of life.

    I think we have to pick our focus on any given day, and trust that eventually it will all come together.

    Besides, "they" say that being fit and slim will make all the other stuff easier to manage. Here's to hoping that's true!