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Balance Ain't For WimpsOctober 12, 2009

I'm working this month (okay, let's make it this year) on balance.

I'm not the best at balance. You may have heard.

I have a slight tendency to work too much. I overdo things.

Wait a minute. I just had a thought. Why don't I overdo fun? Why isn't that true of relaxing? Why can't it be that I say that about relaxing? God, that is SO NOT TRUE. I'm the queen of flipping on the television, watching seven minutes of something, then pausing it in order to go do something (vacuuming, or brushing the dog, or checking email). Then I come back and watch four more minutes before I stop to do something else.

I exaggerate a lot -- I do it often, and I do it well. But that, up there, is not an exaggeration. TiVo tells me exactly where I pause, and it sometimes astonishes me to find that after I feel like I've been watching TV for an hour that it's been literally seven minutes.

I put OFF relaxing. I find every single thing that has to be done and I do it. Therefore, the relaxing is often the thing that doesn't get done.

And I'm trying to get better at it. I have friends who cock their heads to the side and say with kindness on their faces, "Oh, Rachael. You have to stop." They're right.

Even now I'm postponing pleasure. I know I have an Amazing Race episode just sitting on my TiVo, calling my name, and I'm loving putting it off (but that counts, doesn't it? As pleasure? That delicious sense of anticipation? I always save the good stuff for last. Always have).

But hell. I'm gonna go watch it right NOW.

Balance. Work. And fun. In the right proportion. (Like roast chicken and potatoes and brussels sprouts! In the oven right now! Making the house smell delicious! Lala isn't happy about the b. sprouts, but she is just wrong. They are so good. And I will eat them all. Oh, happy night. And the rain is coming. Knitting. With a storm outside. While I'm on the couch. See? That's some relaxation, right there. Woot!)

EDITED TO ADD: It is exactly two hours later. I am NINE minutes into The Amazing Race. We have had dinner.. Lala ate a brussels sprout and did not die. She cut up the chicken, which she is a champion at, and at which I royally suck. I have had one glass of wine. There has been no knitting, but I've done a load of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, done the dishes, changed my Twitter picture and made my Twitter background page WAY busier than is good for anyone, and scrubbed the toilet. Headed back in to Relaxation Station. I mean it. Here I go.


You can't relax with a storm apocalypse upon us! Stockpile, woman! STOCKPILE!!!

That sounds like a most delightful evening (and the strategy, as well). This, BTW, is the best brussels sprout recipe ever and has been known to convert even the most die-hard sprout haters: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/hashed_brussels_sprouts_with_lemon/

Good grief, girl! I think we should trade here. I can sit and look at work for hours postponing it. I could do with some of your postponing relaxing in return for my postponing work. Trade?

Overachiever! Hmmmph! AND you're an overachiever with brussels sprouts. I hate you - I adore brussels sprouts and I doubt if I'll see one for another eight months! And you scrubbed the toilet too? sheesh! (oh btw, the secret to cutting up a chicken beautifully is: kitchen shears. Don't hack at it, snip it neatly! A trick learned from my wife.)

This comment is all over the place. I have re-burned the Hindi music DVD for you (the one that vanished in the U.S.) and just have to figure out how to send it safely. I'll figure out something, though it may take me awhile.

Well, missy, how did it all turn out?? Inquiring minds want to know!

I've been thinking about Balance too. Right now everything feels balanced...like that giant boulder on top of the pointy mountain, if I touch one thing it will all go helter skelter. Too many things need attention.
I was eyeing the Roomba at Costco last weekend...

Oh honey, I am the queen of finding anything else to do other than house work! Just let me knit one more row, or finish spinning this last little bit, or visit the beasties. Anything except vacuum (or dust, or dishes)! Those can pile up until I need something clean. My goal this year is to develope my housekeeping skills. Wanna trade? I'll relax for you, and you can clean my house too!

Hmmm. I am just the opposite. I put off work to relax. Or I alternate work and relaxation in a regular rotation. It's like my own carrot on a stick - I have to vacuum the living room, then I can spin for 20 minutes. Or, I can knit for 20 minutes after I clean up the kitchen.

I suppose that we can both use more balance.

Oh dear, I have the opposite problem. I usually play or relax before work... Then when I do finally HAVE to do the laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc, it's really a ton of stinkin' work! Maybe we could swap out mentalities sometime. (I have a feeling this will only get worse once my baby is born next month...)
But curiously enough, I save good things for last, too - usually only when food is involved, though.

Oh dear. I may be your evil twin, b/c in three hours I would have watched the entire show twice, knit a sweater and wondered why my house is always a wreck.

Balance is overrated, said the Libra.

Be sure to give yourself some credit. One person's balance is not the same as another. You may get recharged from less down time than others. Then again, sometimes I have to remind my over doing Mom that she will get more done in the long run if she takes the time to relax and recharge. Sometimes that even works. ;-)

I know the feeling.. unless the house is spotless I cannot paint, spin or knit. I find many excuses to relax and enjoy. So many other things to get done.

BUT. The second my kids have their homework done for the eve I RELAX. They spend time reading or in front of the tube and I hit my puter.

Seems the difference between you and I is that there is a concrete time to let loose and do whatever the heck you want. Make one for yourself and REVEL!

The ways in which we are alike is scary-I am always amazed at reading people's tweets/facebook that they are spending the day watching a movie(what?!?!). Not watching a movie, checking email, sweeping the floor, throwing the frisbee for the dog, sorting the pile on the desk, straightening the rooms(s)...at the same time. I am resigned to fact that I will probably only relax when I am forced to be completely inert.

I'm with Lala. Brussels Sprouts=ICK!

Hey--I actually just read something somewhere (it may have been a blog post) that basically said, "you don't want balance". You want to have passion for what you are doing. So unless you are stressed about not relaxing, don't worry about balance.

ps. read the first comment and thought, Martha...before I even saw who posted :)

How did I miss this post? I've been balancing, too: mostly Farm Town and Farmville, but, hey, whatever works.

I'm a list-maker and admit to sometimes adding things like "eating breakfast" so I'll have something to check off quickly. But I am trying now to add things to the list like "turn heel on sock" and NOT putting that at the bottom of the list :-)

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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