It is a sparkly new day. The last day of my mini-break. Maybe the first day I haven't felt sick since my two week hiatus started, thanks to the antibiotics I finally called in for.
In my head I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish as I embraced two weeks of "rest" from teaching classes. In the reality of Christmas and New Year's, the list stayed in my head as necessary sleep and rest, and holiday commitments slowly ate up the time. The good news is I now have a whole new year ahead to "accomplish" that internal list.
I used to get mad at myself for allowing time to get away from me, now I keep my plans loose in hopes that something spontaneous, or nothing at all with come forth. Vowing to live in the present means not following the predetermined path (or to do list) inside my head and it often leads me to places I wasn't intending to go. Sometimes those prove to be the most enjoyable learning experiences and at the end of the day allow me to sigh in appreciation and content.
I have always been a serious homebody--especially in the winter. I could stay snowed in all winter as long as I had family and wine. Playing cards, watching cheesy hallmark movies, crafting, taking naps with my grand baby, making dinner, never leaving the house for an entire weekend = heaven to me.
Sometimes I wonder if I have gone too far in the opposite direction and am too loosely planned, but then I think about the "old" me, the busy me, and I realize I never want to be her again. I don't know if it is a natural progression as I age, or just my new go with the flow philosophy, but I've noticed that too many things on the calendar overwhelm me really fast. It used to be the framework that kept me afloat and many people still expect I am going to return from my hiatus to become that person again.
In my heart, I know I am not.
I sometimes wonder, have I become lazy? Selfish? A bad friend?
Then I realize that just maybe I have finally dialed into the balance that works for me, the one that keeps me at calm and peace and allows me to respond to the unexpected situations in life rather than react like I used to. I am cautious about over committing myself and then not being able to live in the present moment as it unfolds with all its unplanned glory. I really don't like rushing or scrambling anymore. Slow and steady wins the race for me.
Balance. I once read a book that said creative and passionate people don't need balance; balance is bad. Boring. Uninspiring. That passion/talent/creativity exist in the highs and lows, and we should never simply strive for balance.
I thought about that for a long while, I even tested their theory and discovered that balance is where I thrive.
I understand achieving the perfect balance is an individual thing. No one can tell me what my prescription for wellness is, even I find myself reevaluating daily to make sure I walk that delicate line. And on the flip side, I cannot tell anyone else what their recipe for wellness is.
I can tell you without hesitation that you have all the answers you need, deep inside. And the challenge will always be in learning to listen.