Finding Balance When Your Feet Feel Unstable
I knew it had been a while since I last wrote anything but it didn't occur to me until today it has been about 5 months! I sit here now wondering what in the world have I been doing for 5 months where I couldn't sit and write for a few minutes?
I lost my balance for a few months, that's what happened, LOL
I was told years ago that the only thing in life that is guaranteed is change. I took from it that we constantly have to be adaptable for when guaranteed changes occurred and as long as you are always open to that you should be fine right?
Well no, obviously we are human and never can be fully prepared. Even if shit seems good on paper, it doesn't always mean the execution will go smoothly and easily. I mean if Shakespeare writes, "To err is human., " then it must be true right?
Let's rewind the last few months shall we?
Things are always hectic it seems but it was becoming more manageable. Been working on getting M.O.B.A. off the ground, (That's a whole other slew of obstacles we will save for another post) as well as dancing, working and finding time for social activities. Also trying to put attention back into "Unzipped" now that bariatric surgeries are back in full swing.
We found ourselves unexpectedly looking for a new place to live on a much quicker timeline that we had anticipated. We knew the house we were renting it would at some point be listed but were faced with a quick reality it was happening now. So the ground shifted beneath us and we found ourselves no longer balancing but rather boasting through each thing we were tasked with while forcing time for looking for places, packing everything, condensing and coordinating the grueling tornado that is the act of moving in itself, LOL.
Because of the current times, the housing world is a different beast from what I had ever seen. Nothing was available, or if it was, it was so overly expensive, it was downright laughable. a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment was more money than many mortgages and don't even try to compete in the buying market as a first time homebuyer because you can't compete with those paying cash, over asking price and offer to pay full closing costs. Buying was not an option on short notice so back to the drawing board on finding a temporary home to rent. Because it was so high, we had to look at outside cities, 80 miles away in Bakersfield, CA where at least we could rent a home, and not a small box of space, LOL. But because of the times, we could't even see the place before we locked it in. Because of the demand of rentals, there was no vacant units to see. We wouldn't be able to see it until the day we moved in to it. Crazy right?! Normally, I would say surf no, but after 15 failed attempts at other places with no availability and the clock ticking quickly, we signed the dotted line and just hoped for the best.
A few weeks later, we were moving in the unit, in the middle of triple digit heat and having to buy everything from scratch from furniture to everyday necessities. Normally, I am not fond of dropping money on home stuff but this time around, I wasn't minding it cuz it meant we were getting our own stuff with our own style and no longer relying on hand me downs or second hand stuff. So yes, spending money part sucked but I chose to change mob mindset in how I looked at it and I looked at it that I was in a place to feel blessed that I could finally be able to DO these things. Perception and mindset will the underlying takeaway throughout this post.
Now going back to before about things sounding good on paper verses reality..
We now live 80 miles away from where we did before which means commuting to and from work. I am blessed that I can do a lot of things and run my businesses remotely but I do have things to do in person and the days I was physically there were the days I was dancing and that was something I was not willing to give up on. I knew things would be changing but didn't realize what capacities those would happen. I figured I would just wing it and hope for the best.
That's where I was wrong.
I lost all form of structure and instead of having a schedule and a plan, I was waking up each day blind to what I needed to get done and not factoring in drive times, schedule changes and the sweltering heat that is in Bakersfield. (I was not prepared for triple digits every day since we moved in over a month ago, LOL
So finally after floundering like crazy, my feet exhausted from trying to maneuver in different directions, I decided we needed to simplify things and focus on one thing at a time. I started with changing my mindset about the drive.
The first couple weeks the drive was brutal. The service sucks in the mountains so there would be large pockets of quiet, and then I focus on how long its taking and then the drive lasted forrrrever. When I would finally arrive at work, I felt depleted and exhausted. Same thing happened on the drive home.
It's been a month now and I finally got a handle on the drive. I try to have fun with it now and choose to focus on things other than the drive. Currently I am turning 40 next month and am planning an 80's themed party. I found a playlist on Spotify with 500 amazing songs from the 80s and for the past week I have been playing it on my drive and I have been visualizing different dances you can do with each song, singing aloud, and envisioning how the party will look like. The next thing I know, 'I am where I need to be and now motivated to plan and get things done. Take away, is focus on good things, fun things, focus on accomplishments, the bigger picture, rather than the work to get there. The time is going to pass, but it's up to you to decided how it will pass. Will it be slow and dragging, or there quickly because you had fun along the way?
Now that the drive is manageable, it was time to focus on the next thing, which was balancing dance now that I live so far away. I went from dancing 3-4 times a week to barely doing once a week because of my new drive and commute. I didn't want to give it up entirely because that's my social time, my exercise and my passion. I didn't want to give it up but knew I had to adapt because it was important enough to me. So I found a compromise on 2x a week immediately after work. I was able to make the schedule work with others so that we could still all partake in an activity we love without missing out entirely. I knew I could commit that time for myself and mental well being and still now make it home at a decent hour. And since I was so used to that time slot being used 3 days a week, I was able to find something on the 3rd days to do and decided to learn some boxing. So now I get to dance 2 times a week and learn self defense on the 3rd day. That's a great way to get exercise in, get some "me" time to decompress and slowly find some balance.
On the days that I was home, I was constantly unpacking, getting settled in and it was still chaos but at least I found some structure for those 3 days I was away and it slowly helped find balance for the week overall so even tho some of the days were chaotic filling in the gaps, it was slowly coming together.
Once you find a routine working out (dancing for me) you begin to crave it more and want to do more because you love it so much. So once we were getting more settled in,I wanted to find something close to our new home to help get some more exercise in and find something to do for myself on the days I am home in between the hectic demands of working, cooking, cleaning etc. So I was on the hunt for some dancing in Bakersfield and lo and behold, I found a teacher not far from me who teaches classes on Tuesday and Thursdays (ironically on the days I am home). It's truly amazing when you visualize what you want in your heart, put it out into the universe and the universe works in your favor! So now I can dance more! I was able to find the balance in stabilizing a base line for "me" time and started there and slowly incorporate more in time.
I find that too often, we try to change everything at once and then it's so easy to fall. Whether its no fads, exercise routines, house stuff. We sometimes feel we need to do these 180 changes and that it will just stick but more often than not, it keeps setting us up for failure and then we fall harder so this time around we start will small changes, keeping consistent until its a new habit and then slowly increasing another aspect from there.
I started with not being able to do anything for a few weeks so now dancing, boxing, and even swimming every week for exercise and still having time to get everything else done.
We always make excuses that we never have any time but the truth is, sometimes we are just so overwhelmed with what we need to do that we waste so much time on where to start first and then at the end of the day nothing gets done.
It like trying to clean a hoarders house. You walk in and every room is so cluttered you don't even know where to start. Some of us go and sit down and pull out a sheet of paper and start making lists of all the things to be done and hours are spent on just that and the day comes and goes and all that's done is your list. Some of us just start bulldozing a room and beasting through it and exert so much energy that 1/4 through it, your body is physically exhausted, there's a bigger mess and you now have no energy for the rest of the day. And some of us decided to pick up the trash in the bedroom and then in there you see a box and your focus shifts that you should go through all the boxes first and then you take a box to the garage and you see everything in the garage and you get distracted, so you work in the garage until you are hungry and go into the kitchen and the vicious cycle continues. The end of the day comes and again, nothing is done.
It really is all about balance. Creating feasible structure that you can easily commit to and being consistent. Make one goal that is attainable and stick with it until its done and/or new habit. In the case of the house, you make the first goal to remove all physical trash from the house. You go into a room with a trash bag and you just walk around and pick up all the trash first. You see other things that need to be done but you continue your focus on the trash only. At the end of the day you've gone through each room and the task is completed. It may feel like you haven't done much in the grander scheme but each room now has some space to move around a little better and easier. Then, the next time, you decide on the next goal. Maybe it is to find all articles of clothing in each room and washing them and putting them away. And each time its a new task that you solely focus on until completion and before you know it, the house is completely spotless and you are on top of the world.
Use the same concept in your personal life. When it comes to work, family, cooking, cleaning, chores, activities, laundry, etc., focus on cleaning up one aspect of your life and put your energy into that. Don't make it all or nothing. But in order to be successful, healthy and happy, you have to invest some blocks of time into yourself. If you are a busy mom balancing work, kids, etc., give yourself 30 mins a day. 30 minutes doesn't seem like a lot of time but its just a start and its 30 mins more than you did yesterday. Choose an activity to commit to 30 mins a day. Maybe even choose a couple that you can alternate with the foundation being the 30 min commitment. Maybe you walk for 30 mins a few times a week, read for 30 mins, do a workout, cook a new recipe, dance, meditate, etc. It's not the act you are committing to at first, it is the block of time. Do it for a week and see how quickly it becomes habit and how much you look forward to that block of time. Once it's a habit, increase it to 45 mins. Again, it's not that much time but it's about committing to that time for yourself to recharge.
This post has been longer that I anticipated but I definitely feel we should revisit this again because balance really makes your world go round and is a game changer. In the last month, I went from feeling overwhelmed and helpless to having a handful of new routines that have become part of my daily life and now the more structure I create for myself, the more I am able to accomplish in a day and the more productive I become, the more badass I become.
It's time to shake the cycle up. Get those shoes on, it's time to get up and feel stable!