Well, my friends, it’s Holy Week, and that means the end of Lent is near! Which also means the end of my weekly blog series. I first of all just wanted to say thank you to all have you who have read and/or commented on these posts – I know that they probably aren’t as “fun” as finished project posts, but they have really helped me reflect on a lot of important topics for these past several weeks. Many of you posted some extremely thoughtful comments, which I absolutely loved reading – many thanks!
So, for this final post in the series, I wanted to discuss a subject which, I feel, brings all the previous topics together: balance. I’ve talked a lot about the concepts of addiction (to harmless, everyday things!), stewardship, and contentment, and I think balance in the culmination of these three things. Balance occurs when we are free of our addictions and when we use good stewardship with our resources, and eventually brings about contentment.
Balance is something I’ve been more keenly aware of since I got married a year and a half ago. Before I was married, I had a much harder time noticing when my life was crazy or off-kilter, since I was the only one in charge of my daily habits. Having another person to take into account when making basic everyday decisions helps me view my choices more objectively and get my priorities in line. Before I was married, I almost always said “yes!” immediately, without thinking, whenever I was presented with an opportunity or asked to do something. Now I take a moment to think before saying “yes,” and every once in a while, I even manage to say that difficult yet vital word – “no.”
Of course, you don’t have to be married to see your choices and values more objectively. I think just getting older and having more life experience also helps a lot. In fact, just a few years ago, I wasn’t even sure I needed balance. When I was a student in music school, we were encouraged to throw ourselves whole-heartedly into our craft and try to avoid all distractions. I always found this difficult, though, as I was constantly being drawn away from the path of singing by my interest in composition, or piano, or…something! And last year when I spent every spare moment sewing, I believed that that was the only way I wanted to use my free time, and never even thought to explore other hobbies.
Now that I’ve lived life a little longer, I’ve discovered that I am happiest when I am constantly pursuing a little bit of a lot of activities. I actually don’t enjoy spending all day doing nothing but sewing; when I do, I feel exhausted and drained. Instead, I am much happier when I spend several hours sewing, then maybe get up and practice a bit, sew a little more, and then give myself plenty of time to make dinner. Your version of balance probably looks a little different, but I think the most important point is that we experiment, and don’t just stick with the same old pattern if it’s not working for us. Time is too precious to be wasted on a sub-optimal routine!
How about you? How do you work to achieve balance in your life – or do you? What do you consider to be a balanced routine?
So, that pretty much wraps up my Lenten meditations. I hope that you have enjoyed reading these, and that perhaps you have gotten something out of them – I know I have!