Tuesday, 20 May 2014

It's All About Balance

serious balance was required on this walk
I don’t have very good balance. If I’m out bushwalking and have to use a log or something similar to cross a watercourse, I’m very nervous. I’ve been known to sit down on it and move across it, very slowly, on my bottom.

If I’m wearing shoes with high heels, I’m very nervous. I sprained my ankle once, walking along a footpath in thongs, because I overbalanced.

Whenever I travel in public transport, if there’s standing room only, I have to make sure I am close to something I can hold onto firmly. Over the years I’ve had more than one situation where I’ve fallen (or almost) onto or into someone, and not all of those were because of sudden movements of the bus or train. It amazes me when I see people standing in the trains or buses, and not holding on for grim death like I have to. How do they do it?

It also amazes me that when I was at school, one of my favourite sports was gymnastics. Yup, I even did work on the beam! I do remember falling off a fair bit, but I didn’t get laughed out of the team.
is there such as thing as too many hats? ask Phryne Fisher!
at the exhibition of her costumes

But, apparently it is all about practice. For several years now, I’ve been doing exercise classes where they very deliberately include elements to work on balance. And they have made a difference. I am still not confident that I’m not going to wobble and fall off that log over the creek, but I do feel that I won’t embarrass myself on the train.

And it’s the same thing when it comes to work-life balance. Actually, I don’t like that term – never have. When I was working, it felt like it was saying that my life was only outside of work, and since I spent so much time at work, that was pretty miserable. And now that I’m not working, how can I have balance if I don’t have work? So I like to think of it as balance in life.
is there such a thing as
a balanced Manly supporter?

Anyway, anyone who is working, or has worked, has heard about how important it is to keep a balance to their life (the work-life balance).  Many work-places have policies in place to address this, although I’m not sure how well they are implemented. And I think some companies don’t really mean it. It is a well-discussed problem – we know we need to do something about it.

But retiring doesn’t mean I can forget about balance. It’s still possible to have an unbalanced life when I’m not working.  See? I still need to think of it as balance to my life, not work-life balance.

I have to keep balance in my diet – not too much chocolate, not too little chocolate, but just the right amount. I have to keep balance in my activity – include exercise as well as vegetating on the lounge. I have to have balance in the amount of time for myself as well as everyone else I think I have to look after. I have to balance those meaningful pursuits with trivial pursuits. I have to balance chores with things I do just for the hell of it.

the amount of chocolate is Just Right!
It takes practice to keep the balance in my life. If I stop practising, it gets harder and harder to keep that chocolate consumption at the “just right” level. Actually, I don’t think I will ever get the balance “just right”. But I’ll keep trying. Retirement isn’t all fun and games, but it also isn’t all just doing things that have to be done, or should be done.

It’s all about balance, and with practice, I will get better at it. As long as I’m enjoying it, that’s the main thing!

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