I despise New Years resolutions. There, I said it. I think they are one of the most useless things since purple ketchup. Sure, there are probably awesome people out there who make valuable resolutions and stick to them (I give you full credit), but I would tend to think they are the minority. What I do believe is that the turn of the year is a perfect time to reflect on the year that has passed, and choose what we want to paint on the canvas of the year ahead.
2016 started off a bit of a roller coaster for me. It was a roller coaster of all sorts – job, self, relationships, and more. I knew where my heart/gut were (in almost all regards), but was still struggling to find something. Something was definitely missing and was throwing me all over the map. Until one day I miraculously woke up and realized it – it was balance.
Okay, in all honesty I didn’t wake up one day and realize this. You caught me. It was long gruelling process of being “in the arena” as Brené Brown would say. I would move in one direction, and it felt like the world would push me in another. I would think things were on track and the Universe would say “you think so eh?” And just when I was at the breaking point of many aspects early in 2016, I said to myself – “alright, so what are you going to do about it?”
The nice thing was I had already started to plant the seeds in 2015. I took up meditation, journalling and started to really focus on myself. This helped, but I still managed to “mess things up” or as some might say, “learn lessons the hard way”. I let people back into my life that didn’t deserve a place in it in the spring, I trusted people I really shouldn’t have. I let my personal life completely crash as I worked 60 hour work weeks, and I was developing this feeling of “something’s gotta give.” I wanted to jump off the roller coaster, and learn what was going to work best for me. Well, in that moment when I realized that for me something had to give, it started to give.
We hear so often about the work-life balance. It’s all about having balance in how much we work and how much personal time we have. We have to balance work and family. We balance exercise and quiet time. It’s all about balance, balance, balance. You see though – no one can tell you what YOUR balance is. THAT was the lesson I learned in 2016. My work is my passion, and therefore might weigh higher than my life sometimes. Mypersonal health and wellness comes absolutely first, but I give my heart 1000% (yes 1000) to my friends and family, because they deserve that level of commitment. Somedays I work out, somedays I realize that I need a colouring book and a glass of wine. I’m no super woman (although I make a mean Wonder Woman at Halloween), but what I am is en route to being more balanced.
There’s a fine art in the give and take of life. I don’t mind working until midnight to get a job done, if I can balance that time in a different way – like taking off early for a road trip to see a friend/family/etc. I will drive hours to put a smile on someones face, when I know that person would do the same thing for me. Throughout 2016, I finally started to find the balance in my life. Not the type of balance that can be described in a book or article, but the kind of balance that works for me.
As we head into 2017, I challenge my friends and family to find their balance. To make sure the relationships in their lives are giving as much as they are taking. And when I say “relationships” I don’t necessarily mean a significant other, but the give and take with your work, your friendships, and (most importantly) YOURSELF. Life is full of relationships, and we all have ups and downs, successes and failures; it’s not what happens to us, it’s how we react to it that makes us.
So maybe this year, take a few moments and don’t make that New Years resolution. Instead, reflect on what you’ve learned in 2016, wipe that canvas clean for 2017, decide what theme that painting is going to be, and go for it. You can do whatever you put your mind to – your balance, your relationships, your life. ????