Monday, February 4, 2013

A balancing act

Early last year, I wrote a blog post titled, “Looking for balance—have you seen her?” In it, I talked about how I’m not a resolution setter, but said that, if I were, the one thing I hoped to find during the year was balance. 

I’m a person prone to obsessions—blogging, studying Abraham Lincoln, working out to excess—or not. Sometimes I’m really into something, to the exclusion of all the things “normal” people do—things like socializing, making day trips, shopping, or even just chilling.

Rarely, through the years, have I taken time to enjoy doing things with my hubby, friends, and family, to savor time in my home, to visit local sites of interest and attend community festivals. 

When I wrote that post in January 2012, I’m not sure I really knew what “balance” would look like, feel like. I just wondered if perhaps it might be an interesting, perhaps even a worthwhile thing to try.

As it does many years, the “year of balance” didn’t turn out quite as I’d planned. Sooner than we expected, our home sold, my husband retired, we moved out of state. 

Looking back, I barely remember the first three months of the year. The rest of it was so busy that first quarter feels like a fog, as if I were a player who lost memory of the early part of the game due to a concussion. I worked at my job, I tackled odd jobs on two homes, and I worked on my blog. 

By April, though, it was evident my life was completely out of balance for the time being. Our Illinois home had sold, and we’d begun moving our belongings to our new home in Missouri. By the end of the month, I was in the house with boxes and boxes of books, what seemed like tons of furniture and household belongings, and no husband. He’d stayed behind, renting an apartment in Illinois until his retirement date later in the year. 

It was just as well. I didn’t have time for a hubby right then anyway. I was putting things in their places, painting walls, and supervising tradesmen who were making the older home into which we moved “new” to us. 

By the time hubby moved down, the house was nearly in order—inside, at least—and, because he was retired, we were almost beginning to live like regular people. I’d work during the day and we could actually do things together on nights and weekends. 

We hung out with neighbors, joined some organizations in our community, found a church home, had guests a time or two, went to visit our kids and our extended family, and attended an apple festival, a turkey festival, and a fly-in. 

About that resolution I mentioned, but refused to make, in fear of breaking it, at the beginning of 2012—a desire to find balance in my life—I think I’m actually almost finding it. 

Our home is coming around. We’ll tackle the outside tasks and some storage-area organization next year. 

We enjoyed time with loved ones and made new friends, and sometimes just sat on the porch relaxing. The winter holidays were the most stress-free ever, yet extremely pleasant and heart-warming. I’ve begun doing some volunteering in efforts where I feel I can be of most help.

I think I can say my life had balance by the end of the year in all but one thing—my writing. 

Though I write and edit nearly every day for my “real” job, in the search for balance and in putting our new home in order, I seem to have misplaced my personal words. They must not have been packed with the work words. 

Do you suppose if I imagine them springing out of my desk drawer as a jack-in-a-box each day, that some of them might find their way onto the page? 

Perhaps—but just in case that doesn’t work, I’ve got a sticky note on my daily calendar. It says, “Did you blog today?” 

With a reminder such as that one, I’ve got no excuse, right? 

© Ann Tracy Mueller 2013

If you liked this post, see my earlier Musings on Route 66 posts here

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