The art of balance

I don’t know if I like Facebook memories or not.

Right now, I’m at a period of really amazing things. January has been epic – I’ve been getting up early, spending lots of time prepping my food, fitting in lots of yoga and walking, spending time with my friends – and I’m really enjoying it. I feel great, I’m starting to shrink a little – I can see my collarbones again, and my face has slimmed down considerably, which I love – things are amazing (and don’t worry – I’m going to get into the whole “new year, new me” thing shortly) and I am really happy (albeit very busy).

So, in a way, Facebook memories are awesome to remember where I’d been. Right now, for example, I’ve been brought back to Africa. I spent an insane three weeks in Accra, Ghana three years ago, and that’s what I’m relieving on my timeline. I got to work with a childs’ rights organization doing communication and advocacy strategy, I met some incredible people, had some wild adventures. Three years ago last week, actually, my friend HB and I went on an elephant trek to Mole National Park. We booked it on a whim – hoped for the best with the hotel, danced at a Container until 3 AM, went to the airport for 5 AM, and hired a taxi in Tamale for 8 AM. We went on a sunset trek that ended with us off Jeep, in our hiking boots in the savanna, with a dude with a gun hoisted on his shoulder by twine, standing in a bluff of trees, surrounded by female elephants.

I’m seeing posts from when I lived in Perth – I’m reminded of the time I met an amazing dude underwater. The notes I wrote when I was travelling for a year, trying to figure my life out. I’m seeing the first time I lived with someone, and how much I loved him. I’m seeing friend love and funny and inspirational. So, in a lot of ways – Facebook memories make me really happy.

And then there is the not-so-happy stuff that I’m hyper aware of. Facebook, can we keep the ex boyfriends and heartache and breakups hidden? K thanks.

Anywho. More on the good stuff right now!

I’ve been planning and preparing my meals like a crazy woman. I’ve gone to the vegan side of things – not because I don’t enjoy meat, but because I struggle sometimes with it being easy to make 1) healthy, and 2) tasty. Dairy is easy enough to ignore, minus cheese. Oh cheese. With the exception of one really dizzy few days, it’s been mostly easy. That said – I’m not super strict about it. A few night ago, while rushing to a board meeting, I had an apple and cheese as I was driving. If I was as dedicated I needed to be, I would have taken out a quinoa cookie (vegan, and always in my freezer) – but, really, it’s not the end of the world. Although, I may have to slow down with the whole “freezer” breakfast thing – at the moment, I have 10 bags of frozen kale and banana for smoothies, about a dozen blueberry-walnut-lavender scones, and about 1.5 dozen peanut butter-walnut muffins, roughly 2 dozen quinoa cookies. Delicious choices in the morning, makes me look rather insane when someone looks in my freezer. But my “food” life looks like this, mostly.

As for my yoga practice – the first week into this lifestyle overhaul, I was ALL OVER IT. It’s something that is super easy on all my sore bones, I love the peace that accompanies it, I love the community that is Noorish. I think I logged 5 or 6 practices in, and I could feel my body glowing gratefully. And then, as it sometimes does, life happened.

One of the biggest challenges of my getting and staying healthy is my effort to grow and maintain my friendships – that balance is hard for me. For example, starting January 11, this was my schedule:

  • January 11 – curling with the ESSC
  • January 12 – Star Wars with a friend
  • January 13 – writing assignment
  • January 14 – karma @ Noorish
  • January 15 – spontaneous movie date with a friend
  • January 16 – lunch date in Red Deer
  • January 17 – “family” dinner
  • January 18 – curling with the ESSC
  • January 19 – condo AGM
  • January 20 – Freewill Shakespeare AGM & Board meeting
  • January 21 – karma @ Noorish
  • January 23 – Beauty and the Beast to support YESS

And so on. So, if I’m up and gone by 715 AM, I’m at work for 815 AM, leave work by 415 PM to be home for 515 PM. That gives me roughly 5 hours to do my thing at night – which, lately, has been mostly away from the kiva. I generally don’t mind this kind of existence for brief periods, but last week, I was freaking exhausted. Had a coffee before lunch, want to sleep under my desk, do I have to do anything besides collapse into bed, exhausted . I hadn’t been to bed once last week before 11 PM, and that’s about an hour too late for me. I come home from the various awesome things, make lunch (thank God for prep!), make some tea, and crash into bed to wait for my mind to stop reeling so I can sleep.

So, my current state of questions – how can I balance this? Do I stop striving for friend excellence and settle into myself? Where should my line be between “give myself permission” and “lean in”? The hardest question is – how on Earth can I manage to get up at 530 AM for a short, in-building workout while I’m also trying to break the weekday coffee addiction?

But. The hard work and all the questions are worth it. Baby steps… but I’m seeing big progress.