Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Ebb and Flow

Does this ever happen to you? I have gone from a quiet, peaceful time, emphasis on the quiet, and now I am moving into a busy, active time. Neither of them entirely works for me. For some reason I ping pong between the two of them, unable to find a balanced place some where in between. Now maybe that place doesn’t exist, for any of us. But I can’t help thinking that if I can just get it together enough, figure out my rhythms, and anticipate the rise and fall of external activity, then I will find, discover, create that perfect (time and) place where my days are filled with just the right amount of just the right action (I do know, even as I write this, how ludicrous it is, I am just saying, I long for it).

In the peaceful time there are long days, a bit on the empty side for me, but plenty of room for reflection, for creative expression, for walks, and so on. If it goes on too long I start to feel lonely, maybe a bit bored. I long for company, but don’t seem to be able to coordinate that company, either people are busy, or I don’t reach out enough to line it up. I do recognize that this is the luxury of the single, childless person, and maybe others read this and long, ache, yearn for this kind of time. Time to just BE, to relax, to do whatever you please at whatever time you please, accountable to no one, reliant on no one, your own master. And trust me, too much of it is too much of it. I speak from a great deal of experience on this one. So when I find myself here, what do I do? I panic, and I start filling up my time. I start calling people, scheduling events, DOING things. Just about ANY things.

Then things swing, work gets busy, suddenly my social calendar is full, and I mean FULL. There is barely room to breathe, I run from one event to another, from one commitment to another, and eventually all those events lose their fun. They become obligations, things on a TO DO list, even if when I agreed to them they were fun, now they are not. I feel on a treadmill, my mind starts to race too, just to keep up to my body. There isn’t enough time to get groceries, isn’t enough time to call friends, isn’t enough time to keep my details in order. There just plain isn’t enough time. The joy is gone. I get sloppy, I drop balls, and I feel badly. And tired. So, what do I do? I start cutting back, setting limits, doing self-care, picking me first. I keep doing that, and then suddenly, boom, I am on the other side of the teeter-totter. Not enough company, too much time on my hands, a bit bored, a bit lonely. The cycle continues.

Here is where I am right now. Having had tons of gentle self-care time, post surgery and with some of my weekend work mysteriously put on hold for 3 months, I am now finally gearing up again. I have started an 11 day work week, that might turn into an 18 day work week, depending (I guess on the Goddess’ sense of humour). I notice my social calendar is tight and my creativity closing down. I am starting to try to fit things and people into the little cracks of my schedule. Good to notice. I guess now is when I can be conscious and intentional, and see what other track I can, or can try, to choose. And, as with everything else, I will learn over time. With each wave, with each cycle, I will come closer to balance.

And what does this have to do with health, and with cancer, and with fighting the good fight? I think that finding balance, learning our own rhythms, knowing ourselves and what we need, listening to ourselves, with love and respect – all of these are life goals, part of the reason we are here. Which has everything to do with health. Which is really what we are shooting for, not a lack of cancer, but an abundance of health. So here is to listening to ourselves!!! And here is to our health!!!


At 11:14 AM PDT, Blogger Mother of Invention said...

This all rings so true for me! I, too, have spent a lot of time alone while being off work sick, and can relate to the little bit of emptiness and the loose ends feeling you experience from time to time. I only work 1/2 time anyway, while my husband works many long hours and spends time exercising which I am not able to do with him. We don't have kids either so again, I have tons of time to work with. Yet, it seems as if I am either overwhelmed or underwhelmed. It's like a meal at a restaurant,you don't want to be too full and you don't want to be hungry!
Anyway, use the "Joy Metre". If you're not really lovin'it, cut that one out!

At 11:33 AM PDT, Blogger Signy said...

You see in theory that works (with the Joy Meter), and then when those long aching hours kick in, I kick myself, and am back to doing things that maybe 1/2 interest me, to fill the time up. Ahhh, the dance of it all.


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