Finding Balance

Busy Person Writing Many Sticky Notes On Large WindowMy son’s fifth-grade teacher sent an email to parents this week, explaining that she is moving around the subject blocks from Monday to later in the week because Monday was too packed for learning.

There will be changes in the schedule starting Monday to find a more rhythmic breathing balance for specific days. For instance, rather than mathematics and language arts back to back on Monday, math will flow into freehand geometry that will involve movement, artistic renderings and a brief history of the what we are learning. Mondays seem to be overloaded so I’m trying to balance it more within the week. This affects the rhythm of the homework beginning this week.

Not only do I love her initiative; I love the language she uses to describe it all.

And the effort of trying to find balance so the children aren’t overloaded, overwhelmed, unhappy.

people walking in the street, blurryIt made me wonder why I, at 45 years old, cannot do the same for my own schedule – or for my family.

Every weekend I look forward to downtime. Perhaps I’ll go to synagogue and reconnect with spirituality and community. Perhaps my husband and I will watch a movie or make dinner together or when the kids are here, perhaps we will sit and relax as a family, or take a walk in the woods and breathe in the invigorating air of nature.

It rarely happens like this. I look at the calendar and realize two kids have sports and another has a party and the fourth wants a sleepover with a friend. Forget weekend idyll. Here comes weekend madness.

Often, my youngest son looks at the calendar in my phone and gasps. “Mom, you have 11 things planned for tomorrow!!”

His shock matches my own and yet it is I who created the madness in the first place. Why can’t I say no? Why can’t I create a more rhythmic breathing balance in my own life?

A friend texted last night to see if I’d be in synagogue tonight to dance with the Torahs.

“Nope, going to Grand Rapids on business. My New York trip is this weekend. Ack!” was my response.

“That’s how you roll,” my friend said. “Safe travels. Breathe deeply.”

Yoga, fitness and healthy lifestyle. Silhouette meditation girlYeah, right.

Is it how I roll? Or am I unconsciously filling the time so I won’t have to be alone with myself?

Why do we pack our schedules to the point of not being able to connect with the Self?

My dear late grandmother used to tell me, “You do too much.”

I scoffed and waved her off but now, in the almost three years since her death, I know she was right. In fact, I knew it then. I just didn’t want to face it.

In my 40s I am vividly aware of the fact that we have one chance at this life. I believe fully that we must make the most of it, we must strive to make a difference during the few years we have on this earth.

Close up feet of a female hiker.What I am beginning to realize is that racing around, getting things done, checking off items on a list does not in any way make meaning.

Slowing down, paying attention, pondering, that’s what leads us to deeper awareness.

To connectedness with the universe.

To knowledge of the Self.

We each are here for a purpose. Let’s not waste our years never knowing what it is.

Now I’m going to sit with the calendar and figure out how to free up time. Wish me luck.

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