One of the themes in my book and its cover is balance. The struggle to attain it. And the constant juggling act it requires to maintain it. Although "maintain" is much too oversimplified a term. Because even though I have made it a priority to be more mindful and in the moment in my life, in an attempt to live a more harmonious and peaceful life, it is far from zen-like.
On any given day I disappoint myself at least a dozen times. AT LEAST. I chastise myself for losing focus. Losing it with the kids. Choosing carbs over kale. Forgetting that orthodontist appointment. And not having the fortitude to make my kids do chores on a regular basis. Then losing it with them because I'm pissed off at myself and my lack of follow through. In short, I lose it and drop the ball. Or the sword. A LOT.
When I was in my 20's, I did the least amount of exercise possible. And I did it for one reason and one reason only. To look good. Now, that I'm in my 40's, the biggest reason I'm active is for my mental health. It just makes me a happier person. When I'm done doing it though. Not before. Or during. My kids now know not to interrupt mom's workout time. Cause if they ask me a question during squat lunges, they know the answer will unequivocally be "NO". Ask me after I've showered and the endorphins are kicking in when I'm a happier mom and might actually ponder their plight or even say "YES".
Food. Can't live without it. So each day I try to make good choices. I aim for unprocessed complex carbs, lots of veggies with lean meats. And I try to jump start my metabolism by eating breakfast chock full of protein. Usually eggs with greens. But that doesn't happen every day. When I go on vacation, it's even worse. I can get way off track. Although I willingly stray, I do so knowing I'll have to work extra hard later. Because there are no excuses. I know that if I get myself off track, I can get myself on track. The earlier I do, the easier it is to get back to good.
I have a secret. I'm completely disinterested in technology. In fact, I hate it. So I have the world's most ridiculous phone (WMRP). Well, I did, until I upgraded it to the world's second most ridiculous phone when the WMRP finally died. They actually discontinued the WMRP at Walmart. That's how bad it was. I choose to have a ridiculous phone without internet access. Because if I did I'd constantly be thinking about the things I should be doing on it or tweeting. And I don't want to do that either. I'm also too damn lazy to figure out my phone and the buttons are so small and my eyes are bad, all of my texts look like I'm day drunk. I use the laptop for e-mailing and social media like it's the 90's. The 90's I SAID! (In addition, our family only has one computer we share, which means I generally am not on when the kids are home, so I can be "present" with them while they're on the computer and I'm reading a book. Yes, I choose to live this way!
When it comes time to wind down at night, I love a glass of red wine. Or two. Again, I try to be mindful and not over indulge. Which means I just recently broke up with boxed wine. Again. First of all, it's sub par. Second, that stupid spigot makes it way too easy to over partake. It's just so dang economical. And life is too short to drink shitty wine. So now, I've rebalanced and I drink much better wine, less frequently and I savor it. On the weekends. Although, last Thursday, I went out on a date with my husband for lunch and then dinner with a friend and had a glass of red at both. Some rules are meant to be broken.
I live my life with fewer delusions or blinders on than I used to. But, because I'm constantly re-evaluating, the down side is I see more flaws and mistakes now than I ever did before. Which means a large part of this great balancing act is forgiving myself and moving on when I do commit a blunder. So what if I screw up? Everyone does. The important thing is to keep trying to get balanced. And feeling for even a moment, no matter how fleeting, that you've got it. That makes it all worth it.