It’s All About Balance

09/03/2012

swing

I am a passionate person. Whatever I undertake, I put my all into it. When I was a child I adored swinging and wanted to swing right over the bar. I loved perfecting my swing technique and being as fast and strong as possible. That moment of weightlessness at the top of the arc was worth everything. It felt like flying.

My way of guiding my creativity sometimes results in a lack of balance. I will grab onto an idea and research it for hours. I am tenacious about whatever I set out to do. With my blogging, after six months of building and maintaining two blogs, and nearly 200 posts and 3000 comments later, I am longing for balance. Even now in my forties I see that I am still the kind of person who tends to swing into extremes. I can only hope that in growing older, or growing ‘up’, I observe my own behaviors more quickly than in the past. I want to calm the ‘pendulum swing’ that goes too far one way and then pulls back too far in the opposite direction. This time, unlike playground swings, I intend to remain closer to the center.

I intend to carve out a section of time for enjoying the community and creative process that is the wonderful world of blogging. And then be able to step away. An hour for the ‘socializing’ section of replying, visiting and commenting on other’s blogs, then an hour or so for creating some thoughtful posts, and then signing off and stepping away. Rather than two or more hours socializing, three or six hours researching and writing my posts, and then signing back on within the same day to reply to any comments and reciprocating with Likes.

pendulumI’ve asked other bloggers ‘How do you do it?!’ but I know it is something I have to find balance in for myself. We are all so different. Some can keep charts for who they follow and return for visits with many Likes and Comments on a cycle, and others are able to easily find balance between working at home, family, and interests along with daily blog posts.

Balance doesn’t come easily for me. Perhaps it’s from my over-zealousness. Although I have occasionally posted a few ‘posters’ about my latest themes, generally my posts are essays about personal and heartfelt issues, or long-researched topics that generate great passion in me. I draft and re-draft and then re-draft again. My work habits developed after decades of administrative management rise to the surface in the guise of perfectionism. No typos. Sentences structured logically. Images placed just so. I am definitely harder on myself than anyone else. And as an Admin, I am not so much a writer as a proofreader. So in joining this blogging world of sharing something meaningful, I proof-read and then proof-read again, and then often save a post to my Drafts folder to languish indefinitely as I try a new topic.

I am sharing all this because I want my readers and followers to know that while I have stepped away recently, I am not gone. I’m working on mastering balance in my life.

swinging in the skyI adore time spent with my husband. I enjoy gardening, cooking, home décor, camping, bird watching, Indie movies, and time spent with my dog. I want to continue learning guitar and playing songs with my hubby. I plan on joining him in his passion for photography as he has extra cameras and welcomes my company on his excursions. I want to create a hand-stitched poetry book with the help of my eldest, the artist who hand-stitches gorgeous tightly-bound papers together into beautiful books. I’d love to learn disc-golf with my youngest, visiting our nearby course. I intend to continue to work towards converting more space in our sunny backyard into growing more food. I want to offer meaningful work in the world through time spent volunteering. I want to get in better shape and do more yoga. And I shall continue my spiritual journey with time for reading insightful material such as the Bible and more, and deepening my meditative and prayer practices.

So, there it is. My journey towards balance. It is my goal, and my loving intention. I want to choose to turn off the computer (even when I don’t necessarily want to) and say goodbye for now to my online family, and spend time with my physically present family, and all the other interests that drive my passion.

In this way, rather than feeling spread too thin and offering less than my best, I can hold onto what matters most in my world, and offer the best of me, both through blogging and in my own life.

I deserve this, and so do you.

Namaste.

30 responses to It’s All About Balance

  1. 

    It’s hard, I know … I also blogged about this very issue a few weeks ago. Your post is so gentle and peaceful, while I called mine a Blogging Tsunami (I was feeling overwhelmed). The balance is hard to reach because we have so many wonderful and creative blogs to enjoy. For me, a deep breath, knowing I am not alone (thank you for this post) and keeping all this in perspective is the key.

    • 

      You help me remember how I am not alone in these blogging tsunamis (I love that, and will come over soon to enjoy your post) and that I am far from being the only one who gets overwhelmed. Yes, a deep breath goes a long way towards helping us keep perspective. It’s all worth it. Thank you so much for your kindness!

  2. 

    Hi Gina,

    I have been thinking about you and wondering where you went! So nice to hear that you’re focusing on balance. It feels like a theme for many of us recently. Another of my friends in the blogosphere abruptly signed off this week for a longer break and I so can relate. There are so many wonderful blogs that enrich, but I, too, have found that my time is spent more and more in front of the computer. So I’m limiting myself to two posts a week and a few hours to comment and read.

    I had a post that I wanted to share over the weekend as it had been percolating for sometime, but I decided that it needed to be short and, somehow, a poem just flowed. Inspiration from you and some of the other poetry blogs that I follow. There are so many ways to share with art, photography, poetry, prose and I love the fact that I now have a platform to do so. Yet, it can take on a life of its own.

    Love and hugs,

    Cathy

    • 

      Hello dear Cathy,
      Yes I was thinking about you too, and knowing that I kind of ‘fell off the planet’ as I regained a wider perspective. Lately I really saw how much I enjoy time with my husband, and decided to push myself away from the computer in order to have more time with him, as well as other interests. I really enjoy blogging and want to do it with balance. I love how you have decided on two posts a week! I am not sure why I began pushing myself to post every day.
      Thank you for sharing about your recent post, and how a poem ‘just flowed’. I love that about our inner poetry, when it finds its way out (or through!) us. And you put it so beautifully about the many ways to share that we have in this wonderful platform. Your words offer wisdom and kindness and inspire me to remember to blog with joy, for I have friends like You who I delight in connecting with. Thank you so much dear heart. For being You and sharing your beautiful Light in the world. In my world 🙂
      Love and Hugs right back!
      Gina

  3. 
    LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words 09/03/2012 at 8:37 am

    balance comes and go,
    as the scales we hold will tip with the emotional energy we lay on them
    or unexpected energy pops up and tilts it the other way….
    I have been trying to balance here as well…I finally fell down the rabbit hole
    with Alice and after a month of tea and crumpets with her, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts
    I came back….I love writing, I love reading others words, but I have now stepped away more often
    to pursue my other passions, gardening, photography, quilting( handwork of all kinds)
    and just sitting outside under the trees watching the deer, geese, cats, birds and others that come to visit …
    what did i learn about my balance, I go from chaotic to calm …thats just me LOLs
    and some days I spend lots of time blogging, researching in cyberspace and books,
    and other times I enjoy being away
    you will know your balance….
    it sounded to me like you were working it out as you wrote your post
    it is a very good thought provoking post….
    Thank you for sharing this of you
    Take Care…
    )0(
    ladyblue

    • 

      LadyBlueRose, your words are comforting and kind. And, as always, resonate with me. I too sometimes just sit in the yard, cherishing these mild weather moments of bumblebees in swaying hollyhocks, and robins bathing in our fountains. To just soak it all up, without forcing myself to write when I need to be outdoors, or playing guitar with my hubby, or visiting with friends over a firepit in the backyard. It’s all important. I feel I can come back refreshed. And you are correct in your wise observances, my muse urged me out of bed early and I did begin writing to ‘work it out’ and I enjoyed how it flowed. After a few re-reads (of course) it felt ready to release. And it feels great to be back, but this time – with balance. May I continue to remain so.
      Bless your heart ~ xo
      With gratitude, Gina

  4. 

    Way to go, Gina! Getting centered and finding balance! I love it! I will greatly miss you–and have already–but will treasure your posts when your plan permits for you to create them. I’m happy for you my dear friend!

    Russ
    P.S. Please excuse all the typos in my comments and posts as my creative process differs greatly from yours. My writing tends to gush forth from my heart in an unstoppable river and I do my best to capture my thoughts by typing as fast as my two-finger typing style allows. When the flow stops, I am spent. Almost as an after-thought I (usually) do a quick read-through to catch the more obvious (to me) typos, then quickly push the “post” button. I do so many drafts and re-writes in my songwriting that I greatly enjoy a much more free-form type of writing on my blog. (I still get embarrassed by my typos though.) I honor your way of creating, and you know how much I love what you write. It is good that that there are different ways and styles of writing.

    • 

      Hello Russ my friend,
      Thank you for this delightful comment! Yes thank heavens there are so many styles of writing ~ part of what makes this blogging world so amazing. And while my admin tendencies are rather entrenched, I appreciate and admire free-flow ‘from the heart’ writing immensely! It is myself I am hard on, not others. Your blog and every single precious comment you have shared brighten my days and offer great kindness and wisdom. I am so blessed to have you and your writings in my life.
      Joyful hugs to you, Gina

      • 

        Thank you, Gina. I too am blessed to have you and your writings in my life. My life got even better the day we “met” online!

        Joyful hugs–they’re the best kind!–to you too!
        Russ

  5. 
    jolynproject 09/03/2012 at 9:17 pm

    I am going to be frank. I am all over the place when it comes to my time. I, too, am one to swing from one extreme to the next. However, for me, I am either super productive or super lazy. I am either out and about or living in solitude. I am either extremely focused or not focused at all. I have small moments of balance but usually, I swing. I wish to maintain balance at some point in my life because I know these swings are not really healthy for me and those around me. It’s nice to see that I am not alone in this pursuit of balance. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • 

      Wow! Thank YOU for helping me see that I am not alone as well. Your description here fits me perfectly. I feel that for me the recognition of it helps me begin to have balance, by seeing when I am on the computer a bit too much and not attending to the other passions in my life. You are a sweetheart Jolyn, and your kind comment here really helps me feel understood. Thank you so much for sharing YOUR story as well through this wonderful comment! Hugs, Gina

  6. 

    Hi Gina

    You’re so right that we all need a basic balance in our lives, so that, for example, each day has in it “something for the head, something for the hands and something for the heart”. The head thing can come from reading, thinking, writing, talking with others, etc. Something for the ‘hands’ implies ‘mindless’ physical activity such as doing daily chores, walking, garden maintenance: “chopping wood, carrying water”. The ‘heart’ thing obviously refers to enjoying time with family, friends, neighbours, partner, etc.

    I think another factor that tends to govern our participation in various activities is the existence of ‘cycles’ and ‘rhythms’ that can be short, medium and long term. The idea of biorhythms seems to sum up what’s meant by this – fluctuations in the intensity of our energy levels for physical, mental, social, spiritual, etc endeavours. These might have medium- and long-term ‘background’ effects that hardly even register in our consciousness but have an effect on our focus and our enthusiasm for various activities. Believers in astrology also have a sense that there are longer-term cycles and rhythms that affect the patterns of our lives.

    I guess none of this is proveable but I think it’s true, from my own observations, that nothing in this universe stays static, and in order to adapt to change we need to be aware of our individual needs – and especially the need to live according to our individual cycles and rhythms. If we take the idea of alternating electrical currents as a parallel case, then it shouldn’t be surprising that a positive period of creative and productive writing or blogging should be followed by a period of relative absence, silence and quiet reflection whilst we concentrate on other needs and priorities. This has certainly been my experience down the years, albeit one that’s been thrown out of kilter by the need to stay on a career treadmill and prioritise the needs of others. Becoming independent and self-employed has been of real benefit in being able to pay more attention to the real “me” and thereby achieve greater balance and “flow” in day to day living. Having found my “element” (as Ken Robinson would put it) I’m determined to stay within it! Enjoy yourself, whatever you’re doing.
    G

    • 

      Gary, this comment is so wonderful and so wise that it is a springboard for me to do a post around it soon. I feel validated, as you help us all feel, in recognizing the importance of balancing creative ‘output’ with the necessary fluctuation towards the ‘input’ side of the pendulum with introspection and quiet (read: non-action). It’s something we all need. Everything you’ve said here resonates with that consistent thought-provoking prompting that I so enjoy from you and your blog. I will re-read and sit with your wise words a bit and form a more worthy reply, but for now please know my gratitude. I am honoured.
      Kindest regards, Gina

  7. 

    I will miss your posts while you are enjoying your family time – but balance is so important. I too am a “swinger” and still enjoy my memories of the feeling of flying and the wind in my long hair – these past few years I found my balance and I find it easier and easier to turn off the computer even if I don’t want to! I found by intentionally planning times with God, my husband, family, friends, work and committees along with time for myself that for the first time I am finding balance while still having the freedom to fly! I am still a work in progress – but I have found what balances my life. So will you. So swing with your husband and find your wings – you will soon be flying free!!! Blessings – Patty PS – I found it is easier turning off the computer than I thought. 😀

    • 

      Wow! Patty! Thank you for this amazing comment. Your wisdom never fails to touch my heart. To begin I want to clarify that I will still be posting – only less frequently. Not daily. At this time anyways. But your brilliant example of setting aside time for the primary things first, like God, partnership, work, etc before coming back to the computer means a lot to me. Working at home has been a blessing and a challenge for me because in signing on here early in the day, I can lose a day of work and more by reading, commenting, writing… you know. But by structuring time for more prayer time, more consistent work-time, more marriage time, more exercise time, and more, then I can return to this place I so enjoy to connect with my online family. Then balance is more easily maintained. You are a light in my life Patty. Thank you so much. Hugs, Gina

      • 

        Thank you – that is one of the nicest things someone has told me. Hugs back at you! My prayers are with you – and I am glad you will still post when you can. God be with you as you find the balance in your life. Blessings~Patty

  8. 

    Thank you Gina, your post really resonates with me..I’m all too familiar with swinging from one extreme to the next. For the past few months, I’ve been taking some personal time away to heal…though I often feel guilty about not engaging in blogging, and my other interest. Thanks again!!

  9. 

    Reblogged this on Candid Concourse and commented:
    Thank you Gina!!

  10. 

    It’s good to take time to yourself to balance what is important to you in life. There can be many forces pulling you elsewhere, but taking a step back to recalibrate is needed several times in life =)

    • 

      Frances, you are a dear! Thank you so much for understanding about the need for balance. I am happy to at last be up to signing on and replying, so please know how appreciated your kindness is, and please forgive my tardiness in replying. Namaste. Gina

  11. 

    Finding our center and coming into balance is what our journey is about. I too have had my episodes of going into extremes so I can totally relate! 🙂 Love & Light, Peace & Joy to you Gina! ~♥♥♥Nadine Marie♥♥♥~

    • 

      Nadine Marie, your love and light always brightens my world! It is delightful to sign on again and find such kind words from you. Thank you for helping me feel understood, your kindness is deeply appreciated. Be well dear heart. Love and Light to you as well! xo Gina

  12. 

    Fun to have found your blog! I just took the summer off, and have been feeling the overwhelm of being back in the blogging world (in addition to the joy of it, for sure). Your post was timely – I’m not sure I realized others also feel this way – so thank you for normalizing it a bit for me. Best to you! Julianna

    • 

      Hello Julianna, thank you so much for this delightful comment! I too wasn’t sure others felt this way, and have continued to struggle to gain balance in this blogging world. But I feel it’s a good start to at least sign on again after awhile and happily reply to comments. Thanks again for yours here. Namaste. Gina

  13. 

    3000 comments in six months and two blog… my hats off to you. I can see where you are looking for balance. We will enjoy when you have time and love to hear about your other adventures. 🙂

    • 

      Thanks Kara! For your understanding and support. I do look forward to sharing about my other adventures. And thanks also for the inspiration you share on your blog! Hugs, Gina