Finding Balance in a Busy Life

It’s been at least a week and a half since I started this blog. My intention was to post it before my grandbabes arrived last week. But here I almost a full week into July and life continues to dictate whether I write or not.

I didn’t expect to go back to work part-time or full-time, but here I am working about twenty-eight hours per week. Learning a new job – although the work is familiar and even enjoyable – has been wearing. It hasn’t helped that we are still living in a dilapidated house while building a guest cottage (which will serve as a temporary living space for a few years) in the dead heat of summer. Life has not stopped so that I can get accustomed to the new routine, nor does it seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

So…I have been exhausted lately. Does any of this sound familiar to you, too?

Health Update

After seeing my new doctor for a follow-up and analysis of my recent bloodwork, I have had to make some tough decisions. I have had to evaluate how I got to where I am now, what I can do about it, and what a plan of action will be to get me back in the direction I was originally heading. So far, I have changed up my evenings and eliminated some of my book marketing and social media. I’m not happy about it, but my health is important to me. My goal is to try to live as long as my grandparents did – into their late nineties. And if I expect to get there, well, I have to make some tough choices.

Eating Better & Moving More

The first thing I did after learning my cholesterol, A1C, vitamin D, and calcium levels had traveled in the wrong direction was to come home from work and eat supper first. The second thing was to get in my thirty minutes of steps I had given up when my daily routine changed eight weeks ago. And the third thing I did was wait to get on the computer only after I had done these two things. Once I did, I could focus on a few important tasks and still get off the computer for my evening reading before bedtime. I feel a lot better already.

In addition to adding fitness back into my daily routine and trying to eat better, I’m eating more calories. I know. You would think I would choose to eat less calories. However, after six days, I’m feeling more energetic than usual and not so tired. In my efforts to avoid the over forty foods which I’m allergic to, I hadn’t been eating enough calories to sustain my more recent daily routine. So, my conclusion is – although I need to start eating less red meat, I need to eat enough calories for energy. So, in all this, I’ve decided not to monitor my calories so much as to make sure I’m eating a balanced meal.

Some Reasons for my Setback

After my doctor appointment, I started to feel disappointed in my efforts over the past year but stopped myself. In truth, it’s been a rough year. Just one year ago yesterday, we had the photo shoot for our city home. Those photos look sharp for no other reason than due to a lot of hard work, long hours, and stress. Then, there was everything involved with the listing of the home, deliberating on which offer to take, and then hoping and praying all of it would work out and stay good through the closing. In among all of that was the packing, cleaning, and moving in the heat of summer.

And here we are again in hundred degree temps, fighting a house that needs torn down and trying to keep it cool with a minimum of three A/Cs. What’s a girl to do? Well, for one, I’m not a young girl anymore. Psychologically, I feel maybe thirty or forty. But physically, I’m starting to feel closer to my soon-to-be sixty years on this earth. So, very often, I have to remind myself of my age, or I’ll overdo it. And, right now, I cannot afford to get sick, under the weather, or injured in any way.

As I think about my search for that elusive balance in my life, I can see the mistakes I’ve made in my teens, my twenties, thirties, and forties and fifties. Of course, unknown me to back then and only until about five years ago, my food allergies hindered my success in sports, dance, and fitness of any kind. Learning about my food allergies shed a lot of light on my health and the reason why I never seemed to have much endurance, excel like I wanted, or maintain the stamina needed for many athletic regimes.

Making New Plans

Now that I’m where I’m at in my health journey, I have decided to give myself grace and mercy and also remind myself that balance comes from awareness and then action. My awareness that my blood level numbers aren’t where they need to be, my energy level isn’t where I want it to be, and my fitness activity can be much better is jumpstarting me on another fitness journey toward healthfulness. Sure, I’ve done this many times before. But in my early years, I would often give up when I lost my rhythm or broke a pattern. It’d take weeks, months, and even years before I got back on board. Now, I know better. The sooner I get with it, the sooner I will see the results I want.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Have you lost your way to fitness at some point in your life?

Give Yourself Grace

So, what can I offer you in the way of success with your daily routine, fitness goals, or overall healthfulness? One thing I encourage you to do is give yourself grace. It’s okay to lose heart when disappointment meets you at the doctor’s office. It’s okay to not see how stress is creeping up on you. It’s okay to take a while before you realize you need to get back on task. Just pause. Take a deep breath and start anew. Forget about the deviation from your original plan and make a new goal, one that better fits your current needs.

So, make some concessions for where you are now. Whether it’s certain allergies, age, or another health impact, there are lots of ways you can reach a better fitness level. I won’t go into specifics as we are all different and each person can contact their doctor, nutritionist, physical therapist, trainer, or even just google what you need to do to improve where you are. In my case, reducing my red meat intake to once a week requires that I learn what my other protein options there are. Not chicken, turkey, peanuts, or pinto beans, as I’m allergic to those. But pork, tuna, shrimp, salmon, and even avocado are safe for me.

Evaluate Goals

Another thing that helps, I think, is to always consider your long term goals. If you are an athlete, i.e., long-distance runner, marathoner, swimmer, or dancer, even a yoga instructor, you may have more intense goals than someone who just wants to be fit, limber, or agile. The thing is to determine that long-term goal then decide what short term goals you need, if any. In my case, my short-term goal is to bring my numbers back to where they were last year by December. That seems to be a reasonable goal to my doctor and to me.

Enlist Help

I’m also considering some help to reach my goals. And that’s something you may want to do as well. In my case, I’m looking at enlisting the aid of a nutritionist who can take my diet needs and help me develop some varied and easy meal plans. I’ve never been fond of cooking or baking, rather spending my time writing and doing artwork or crafts, or now doing social media to promote my current and future books. I’m also considering a walking partner. I would hope it would be hubs, but he’s never really been interested in just walking, and we find ourselves on different planets when it comes to what we consider an ideal workout plan. Sound familiar?

Cheer On

And, finally, either be your own best coach or find a cheering comrade, in-person or virtually. Someone who can hear your goals and help you meet them with their positive vibes. If someone is constantly doubting our abilities, it won’t help us be successful in our goals. But with the right encouragement, we can stay on track and even surpass our goals. It takes confidence, dedication, determination, and teamwork to reach for our goals, meet them, and supersede them.

So, let’s get with it: give yourself grace (we’re all human) and make concessions for where you’re at right now, consider long- and short-term goals, enlist aid with meal plans, and find a cheerleader. All these things can help you (and me) get fit, feel better, and even relax – because you may be just where you need to be. The important thing is know where you’re at, where you’re going, and where you want to be. If finding balance for you in a busy life is deciding to give something up, then do it. If is eating better, then do it. If it is adopting more movement in your life, then by all means, get to moving.

Changing It Up

I hope you’ll take time to comment and let me know where you are at on the life balance ratio. Do you work all time? Or do you have time to do something extracurricular you enjoy? Do neglect your meal time? Or are you always planning the next meal? And what do you select to eat during the summer? What is your favorite activity for movement or fitness? Do you do it regularly, sporadic, or change it up?

Walking in place gets a bit old after a while, so I started walking around our “Shed Row” five times in the morning and five times in the evening. It’s not the best solution, but it does feel good to be be using muscles I don’t otherwise use. Without being used, muscles lose their strength. Trust me, I know.

Stay tuned for more blogs on fitness and fighting the urge to sit around – because of exhaustion or lack of adequate energy. Seriously – it is a thing, and it’s not healthy. So, let’s work on moving toward healthfulness – together.

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