Balance is a word I’ve had in my mind for a while: the idea of finding balance in my life between work and rest, between time alone and time around others, between spending and saving money, between all of the opposites of life.
It seems like a perfect ideal – to have everything in balance, to be managing life in a healthy, productive way.
But is that just a positive connotation we attach to the word?
Looking at my own life, I’ve been trying to work out what that balance would look like? How would I know if I’ve achieved it?
The idea of balance also goes along with a sense of peace, for me. So perhaps the sense of peace I search for is the indication that I’ve found balance?
If it is, then how do I find that sense of peace? I want to feel like I am doing the right things in order to build the life I want to live, that I’m taking care of my physical and mental health, that I’m keeping my environment clean and tidy, that I’m doing my best for the people I care about, and that I’m making a positive contribution to the world.
Which all sounds easy in theory. I can write a list of all the things I do to achieve these day-to-day goals. The problem is that sometimes they conflict. Sometimes in order to achieve looking after my health, I have to take a step back from working, or volunteering. Sometimes I have to choose which of these things to prioritise.
Making that choice doesn’t bring me a sense of peace. It’s a difficult choice, one I’ve had to make today, but I know I’ve made the right decision. How do I know? Well, I’m sat at home, resting, knowing that I have enough time to prepare for my trip, and not stressed and wishing in my to-do list would disappear.
So, even though I’ve made a choice a part of me regrets, I know that stepping back and taking my time will benefit my health and stress-levels. Which feels like balance, and will, hopefully, get me closer to that sense of peace.
I feel like a lot of the time the biggest thing we all need is more time, to give ourselves more time to get the most important things done. Rushing and filling in every spare moment leads to stress, anxiety, and ultimately a sense of hopelessness when all those precise plans go wrong.
There is something to be said for the idea of living slowly. We don’t have to do everything, we don’t have to fill every moment with productive activities. Sometimes it’s okay to just take a moment to rest and breathe.