Epiphanies, Large and Small

Honestly? I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with me either.

It’s like all of a sudden, I woke up and decided to treat myself more respectfully. I finished my novel revision, started eating better almost overnight, and have started buying clothes that make me feel better about myself. (My wallet doesn’t like that last one.)

Is it a coincidence that I allowed myself to miss kung fu all of June? Probably not. Work required my energy last month, and instead of fighting it, instead of feeling guilty for missing kung fu and guilty for not being at work more when I did go, I just let myself dive into work. I gave it 100% instead of fighting with myself all the time.

You know, I was really happy last month. I was really happy to be doing something with all my heart, instead of forcing the “balance.” Before that, I would scramble around trying to fit work, kung fu, and writing into a day that didn’t have nearly enough hours. That lack of focus kept me from truly enjoying or excelling at any of them. I was not being “mindful” in each area of my life — I was always thinking about how my performance in the other areas was suffering.

I love kung fu more than… well, more than almost everything else in the world. But as you guys have always been quick to point out, I can’t do it all. I have a demanding and incredibly rewarding job right now, and a writing career I’d really like to get back on track. I need to give them everything I’ve got… because they deserve it, and because I’m better when I throw myself wholly into things. That’s what makes me proud of myself.

Am I quitting kung fu? Hell, no! And you’re crazy if you even thought that for one second! But I am hereby giving myself permission to miss kung fu, tai chi, and weapons whenever I need to — no guilt, no recriminations, no whining. There may be a point in my life where the balance swings and kung fu is back to being a 100% endeavor, but now is not the time. I’ll still go when I can, and I’ll be mindful and 100% when I’m there, but that’s all I will promise.

I like myself best when I’m passionate — when I’m invested in something with all my mind, body, and spirit. Right now, that means making some hard choices.

It’s funny how the sudden desire to eat vegetables and wear fitted clothes led to such an epiphany. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m heading back into my novel revision. Thanks for listening.


Comments

Jenn Reese 8 years ago .

Yes, I believe in "dynamic balance," not just "balance" — it's just hard to really embrace that when I want to do everything!!!

Max 8 years ago .

Dear Jenn,

Good job!

Max

Jenn Reese 8 years ago .

Dear Max,

Thank you!

Jenn

Rachel 8 years ago .

I like this a lot. I’ve been thinking of similar things — than when most people speak of “balance,” there’s an assumption that it has to be simultaneous, whereas in real Life, it’s far better if the balance has an overall, cyclical nature, respecting the ebbs and flows of the different areas of our lives.

Mike Jasper 8 years ago .

"I like myself best when I’m passionate — when I’m invested in something with all my mind, body, and spirit."

Nice! I had a pretty good June too. And you've got a great point about throwing yourself into the task that needs your attention and energy most, right now. I've always had crappy days at the Day Job when I wasn't working hard and being productive.

Of course, I'd love to be able to balance it all — family, writing, exercise, work — and give it all 100% every day. But you've gotta cut yourself some slack and pick and choose sometimes.

And woo hoo on finishing your novel rev!

Jamie 8 years ago .

We don't find the balance. It finds us.

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