Free to “just be”

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It’s three a.m. and my day has already begun because I have  about 16 “unfun” and irritating things to do today – important stuff that I’ve been putting off and must get out of the way to find any modicum of peace.

I had dinner with six of my high school girl friends last night and we had a serious discussion about how our lives had gotten out of balance – and most of us are retired!  The frenetic lives we led while

elephant raising families and keeping our careers on track have taken their toll and all of us find it difficult to just sit and be.  Doing nothing in particular can create feelings of guilt.  So we add more levels of responsibility including church, civic activities and projects that would be better left undone.

“JUST STOP IT,” we told ourselves.  But how is the million dollar question.

Finding balance in  life most certainly will not happen overnight. There will be many hours of contemplation, reflection, imagination, frustration, and inspiration involved in the process. And even if we do find balance in our lives, that balance may morph and change as your life changes. Things that are important to you now may mean nothing to you five years from now.

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The experts suggest that living a simple life will take you a long way to finding more balance.  The less things we have to deal with in life, the better. Balancing five stones on top of each other is much easier than balancing thirty stones. The more we can focus on individual aspects of our lives, the better. When we spread ourselves too thin, our balance is bound to be thrown off.

Here are some suggestions if you find yourself stressed and off your game:
  • Forget multi-tasking, single-task instead – By putting your full focus and energy on one specific task at a time, your best work is achieved. Put quality before quantity. Always strive for excellence in all that you do. Do few things, but do them well.
  • Spend more time with friends and family –They are the ones that will catch you when you are about to fall. They are the ones who will guide you when you are lost. They are the ones that will support you when you are feeling weak and you can do the same for them
  • Eat healthy – In the words of Count Rugen from The Princess Bride: “If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.” Implementing a simple, healthy diet into your life will not only make you feel better and more balanced, but it will also be cheaper.
  • Exercise regularly – The quote above can be applied to this one as well. Exercise is needed to balance out the time that you are inactive.
  • Spend less than what you make – This simple principle is easy to understand, but can be difficult to live by. If you are in mounds of debt, that is obviously going to disrupt the balance in your life, piling on more stress.
  • Integrate your passions with your career – Following your passion in your career might not yield you as much money, but it will bring you much more happiness. The benefit of living a simple life is that you don’t need that much money to sustain yourself anyway, so money should not be a problem.
  • Rid yourself of material possessions – Having too much stuff can make you feel trapped or weighed down. Give away or sell the things that you never use anymore. When you go shopping, ask yourself: “Do I really need this?”
  • Write in a journal or blog – Writing your thoughts and ideas down helps you remember them and make sense out of them. It helps you see the big picture in your life. It can provide insight as to what areas of your life need work and what areas are going smoothly.
  • Learn from others – Observe your friends and family. Which ones are successful, happy, and seem to live a quality life? What is differentiates their lives from yours? What habits do they have? Don’t be afraid to talk to them and ask them questions about how they live their life. Finding balance should never have to be a lonely task.

4 thoughts on “Free to “just be”

  1. Oh, I do like this!!
    I am now retired after a busy life much like the one you described.
    I have days that I do not have to do anything except what I want to do, and yet
    I feel the overwhelming sense to be doing more.
    It is driving me crazy, literally.
    I practice Yoga three times per week, walk nearly everyday, LOVE to read good books, have dear friends, and family, and yet——-I feel out of balance.
    Most of my friends would kill to have my life, I feel guilty about that!!!
    Bottom line, I made way too many lists in my life, and now I don’t have too.
    REALLY working on the balancing thing, thank you for sharing, and letting me do the same:)

  2. You described “the condition” perfectly. What’s wrong with us. I’m trying meditation, but so ADD that it’s almost painful. Maybe we can form a 12-step program and work on chilling out more.

  3. Excellent idea, I love the idea of a 12 step program,I can make a list of the 12 steps to do, too relax!! LOL

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