I sat at my computer and spent an hour on Excel, highlighting this and re-sizing that. Afterwards, I held in my hand my ideal schedule, what a week would look like if I accomplished everything I had to and wanted to do. There was no room for distractions, no room for procrastination. I remember even then looking down at it and knowing I was setting myself up for failure.
I’ve been chasing perfection.
But at least, isn’t that better than laziness, cowardice, rolling through life and doing a whole lot of nothing? Because that side of the spectrum, that was getting me nowhere. I wasn’t experiencing anything, and I still found myself stressed out even though I was supposed to be easy going. No, I had to be intentional. And so I swung to the other end of the pendulum.
And found I was experiencing the same thing. Still missing out because I was obsessing about my “perfect” schedule and making goals and obsessing and obsessing and obsessing.
Maybe the reason I was missing out on life was because I was expecting too much.
Maybe the reason was because I was too busy living in the future, in my dreams, in moments that would never happen.
And maybe the reason was because I’d forget that life is about balance.
Not so much the perfect schedule where a little bit of everything gets completed. Not so much living right in the middle. Maybe more of riding the ebb and flow of life. Understanding that one day will sway in one direction while the next will take me somewhere else. And disruption is okay. I had to learn that, too.
On a side note, to better illustrate what in the world I’m talking about, I want to talk about the perfect diet. First off, there is no perfect diet. Every person digests and metabolizes differently. Some people have food allergies. So when someone tells me the latest and best way to eat, say a lifestyle that starts with P and rhymes with rail-eo, though my first thought is that by eating bread I’m doing the worst thing for my body, I later realize that hundreds of people have done their “studies” on the dangers of gluten and GMOs and hormones. Some say they’re fine, others say deadly. I just don’t know (and I didn’t write this to start a conversation about food, please keep that in mind). And even though rail-eo sounds like the cure to all health issues and weight-loss desires, when I go to the grocery store I find that I can’t afford grass-fed meat and real maple syrup and a thousand organic vegetables that will go bad before I can cook them. And I don’t have the time to prep all these meals. And none of my friends eat this way. And few restaurants have my diet-friendly meals.
Coffee is bad. Just kidding, a study says it’s healthy. Butter is great for you. No it’s not. Eat the whole egg. Eat anything more than the whites and you’re dead. Kale is the best! No actually, if you eat too much you’ll get sick.
My word! How can I hope to eat well with all the conflicting studies? How can I get it right if no one knows what right is? How can I be healthy if it’s impossible to sustain?
Then I realized, I may never discover the best way for me to eat, one that will stick after the Adkins and the Slim-Fasts all fade away, but I can create balance by not going overboard on anything I eat. I can introduce variety by eating grains and veggies and meats, but never too much, especially the stuff that we’ve all determined isn’t healthy (Ho Ho’s anyone?).
And that, in my best way to explain possible, is balance.
Balance is knowing you can’t control everything, but you’ll plan for the contingencies anyway.
Balance is sometimes throwing your plans out anyway.
Balance is creating routine, but not letting the routine control us.
Balance is learning to say no to the things that won’t get us where we want to go.
Balance is giving yourself both time to rest and refuel, and instances where you’ll be uncomfortable, because that’s how you grow.
Balance is developing self-discipline, but sometimes letting your hair down for the good of the people around you.
Balance is not going overboard.
Tune in Thursday/