Sharing the lessons along the way…

Out of balance, already?


The mythical seagull out of balance

The mythical seagull out of balance (Photo credit: fisserman)

Wow!  We are over halfway through the first month of 2013.  I realized earlier this week that I had not yet themed the year.  Did you set the tone and theme for your 2013 yet?

In more recent years, I have known the theme long before midnight on New Year’s Eve.  Not this year.  In fact, I have considered several themes and have dismissed them as inadequate.

Today, I decided I would need a new way of thinking about it.  I decided that I would theme each month instead.  Since January is nearly over, it almost seems a bit moot to name it.  Except that I don’t think it is.  😉

I do know that I do not want February to look like January in many respects.  January’s bottom line will be taking a step back to evaluate and re-evaluate my commitments.

I am out of balance and tired.  Those two things make my pain levels worse and since I am still cooperating with my pain, I need to pay closer attention and make whatever changes I need to make.  Besides these things, February needs to include my book, and the process toward getting it published, and I need the time and energy to do that.

As of five minutes ago, January’s theme is re-evaluation.

How often do you take this step back to see whether things you are doing in your life are working?  I do it often enough, but this time feels different.  Everything I am doing for work right now, I am enjoying.  Everything outside of work that I am doing (which isn’t much because of pain) I am also enjoying doing.

My approach to re-evaluating also has to be different.  The questions I ask myself will have a slightly different feel to them as well.  Instead of simply asking whether an activity serves me or is healthy for me, I will now have to ask several questions.

  1. Is this activity something I feel passionately about or is it an enjoyable activity?
  2. Is this activity causing significant increase in my pain levels right now?
  3. Is there an equal trade-off financially, emotionally, or otherwise to continuing this activity in the short-term, no matter what the answers to the first two questions are?

Something else that is different about this evaluative process is that whatever I decide to change will be flexible.  I will revisit whatever decision I arrive at again in a month to see if anything is different (pain, for example).

I am curious about what other questions you think I should ask myself as I re-evaluate my time commitments.  Are there specific things you ask yourself when you do it?

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Comments on: "Out of balance, already?" (4)

  1. Tawny –

    Greater perspective and activity…..Yesterday driving home, after a session of mandala drawing w/others, I thought to myself…that is enough for today…. ( feeling my battery getting lower) even though there was still an an open invitation to see a friend and hear some music…..I called the place, and sure enough the music was set to stop in 15 minutes…..the universe confirmed, there is no need for me to go somewhere else for stimulation or interaction. My thoughts as I arrived home went something like, “wow that was very rewarding, light & easy and stress free” could I have more of that in my life? I have come to understand the value of making a priority of my spiritual practices, I bet I could do something like that the energizing and inspiring elements I collect. I have saved, on little slips of paper for many years, movies. music, books, places to travel, and names of inspiring doers…but put them aside for later when I have time…..I see now that those are the muses of my mind & heart….they are calling me. I think I need courage to trust that my divine intelligence is drawn to those creatives for a higher purpose.

    Last night I thought I would like to go somewhere away from where I live ( even though it is a retreat center) to gain greater perspective, to help me see more. Today in my typical “check the job openings” routine…. I found an opening that would locate my life near others whose work I admire, family and sangha members. I believe the intention of having a clear view is helping me see that I value most being an integral part of a larger puzzle, to that well I need to be shaped just like myself.

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  2. I definitely think you should track your progress, pain levels, energy, etc, especially since you are feeling so tired and out of whack. Asking simple questions might help….Am I more tired? Is it ‘good’ tired? How’s my quality of life when I’m not working, volunteering, etc? And if you find you need to change or cut back on activity, try to maintain a balance between work and other things to help keep spirits up. It seems you are already cutting back on activity outside work because of pain and fatigue, and feeling out of sorts, so be careful of depression too. ( I feel so dumb saying that to you….just quiz yourself for me please :-)) And keeps notes of what you try in order to learn what helps.

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    • Hey T,
      It is not dumb at all to mention depression to me! I appreciate it and it is always something that I am mindful of–pain and decrease in social activity often equal depression to some degree. I am getting a lot of social interaction, however, just not that much outside of working my three jobs at the moment. These are great additional questions, so thank you for adding them!
      Hugs,
      T

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