First an explanation, I didn’t update last week because we went to the theater. We saw Wicked and it was amazing. And completely worth missing an update. 😉
Last year our family started a new tradition. On the night of the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, we release wish lanterns (a’ la Tangled). I’m not a big believer in they mystical or supernatural aspects of solstice (or anything else for that matter) but I do believe in symbolism and tradition and this ritual brings both together.
As the organizer of all of our special holiday activities I had been so concerned with making sure we got our lanterns and released them that I forgot to think about what my wish would be. As my lantern was floating away I realized that I needed to make a wish. My mind raced as I tried to think about what I wanted. My relationships are all great and there’s no need to have wishes for them. I didn’t want to wish for health for my family because that is largely out of my control (especially the health of others who have to make those choices for themselves). My lantern was rising quickly and I still hadn’t made a wish and then it came to me. My old friend. Balance.
I have found a great deal of balance in my life since I started actively seeking it. I’ve explained before that when I discuss balance I’m not talking about perfect symmetry or making everything equal- I’m talking about finding a place where I feel centered and steady. I’ve found that in most areas of my life but there are a few places that it’s still elusive and I want to find it.
I have found no true balance when it comes to my issues with food, money or my reaction to my kids being disappointed. I honestly don’t know if balance in these areas is even possible because there is so much baggage associated with them. As we move into the new year (which I link with solstice and the return of more sunlight not January 1st) I want to attempt it. I may have to think about one at a time though because my main issue is that I only truly feel in control of these areas when I’m actively thinking about them on a regular basis. I feel in control of food when I’m carefully tracking and planning everything. The same is true with money. I have to constantly remind myself and analyze when and how I should respond or intervene when my kids are disappointed by things. Balance to me is finding that sweet spot where things make sense without constant internal analysis and questioning and while I can currently do well at all of these things each requires a TREMENDOUS amount of effort on my part.
Don’t misunderstand, the effort is worth it and I continue to strive to be better. However, I know that it’s so much easier to falter when something is always a struggle. I’ve found balance in so many other areas; marriage, parenting (mostly- except for that disappointment thing), career/family, time, etc. These things are pretty effortless at this point- they weren’t always and I used to struggle with all of these things and more. Once I found balance with them it became second nature to make choices that continued to maintain that balance. I don’t have to think about or put in that tremendous effort to maintain balance in these areas. I am strong and centered. I want that in these other areas as well.
I’m not sure how I’m going to do this yet and, in the spirit of full disclosure, so far I’m not doing so great. My 30 day carb fast isn’t going well despite a strong start. I didn’t stick to my budget for Christmas and that was largely centered around not wanting my kids to be disappointed (not just with things but also with some of the activities we enjoy that don’t cost a lot but do add up). But I’m contemplating and thinking about how to get there and that’s the only place there is to begin.