Sunday, May 25, 2014

Finding Balance

                I must start by saying that I am not an expert on balance in any way.  I stumble quite often since my life and its many adventures are not linear but a convoluted entanglement of commitments, experiences and desires.  Even with this blog entry, it has taken me weeks to be able to sit and type this.
                I am a full time, high school, intensive reading teacher.  I also sponsor two clubs, Key Club International and SHAPE.  Both clubs focus on giving back to the community through service, and one of them requires several hours a week of my time.  I teach an extra class, giving up my planning period, so that I may earn more money.  On top of all of that, I am also the chairperson of the reading department (who just happens to also do the job of the reading coach).  From the time I get to work at 6:45 am to the time that I leave work, usually around 4:30pm or 5:50pm, I am nonstop.
                I am also a full-time, happily divorced mom.  My son is with his father every other weekend, but I have him the majority of the time.  I am blessed with the most amazing little man.  He is kind, thoughtful, smart, silly, and an all-around amazing human being.  He’s also seven years old and requires a lot of my time.  He's an A/B student who is always striving to get straight As, so we spend time together on his homework each night. He’s extremely athletic; he plays soccer in the winter, baseball in the fall and spring, and swimming in the summer.  Usually, those take up 3-4 nights each week during the season.  So, even at home, I am nonstop.
                Exercising is also extremely important to me.  Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I was extremely lethargic, sometimes to the point that raising my arm felt like it took too much energy.  I had to make several lifestyle changes and take energy supplements, and I did.  I lost forty pounds and started to feel normal again.  It’s a struggle, though, because there are peaks and valleys, and when the valleys come, it’s quite difficult to find the energy to do anything productive. Fitting time to exercise into my already crazy schedule is not easy, either.  I wish I could say I was successful at it, but the truth is that I just don’t make it sometimes.
                I LOVE to read!  I’m a huge fan of paranormal stories.  I enjoy reading both young adult and adult.  I love series sets because I get to lose myself in their worlds longer than a stand-alone story.  Finding time to read is always a struggle.  I read while I’m using the stationary bike or the elliptical at the gym.  I read while I’m waiting for an appointment.  I’ll try to read when my son is reading for half an hour each day at home, but sometimes I just need to get dinner ready.  I read in the summer mostly, when I’m not working crazy hours every day.
                So, when do I find time to write?  (insert chuckle here)  My phone has become my friend.  When inspiration hits, I use the notepad on my phone to write out my thoughts.  Usually, that happens at the gym or at a red light or in the shower (thanks goodness for waterproof cases).  I carry a journal with me at work and jot down dialogue in the rare, spare moments that I’m given.  I type after my son has fallen asleep or on the weekends in which I don’t have him, after all of the usual errands are done.  Sometimes, my brain is just too fried to type, and I just accept that my muse needs a break. (Don’t worry, fans, I’m about 70% finished with writing The One Enlightened, book two of The Chronicles of the Diasodz).
                Still, with all of that being said, I consider myself among the very blessed in this world.  I have a family that loves me , supports me, and encourages me to pursue my dream.  I have a son who is the absolute joy of my life.  I have special friends who embrace me with their positive energy and allow me to bask in their beauty and their love.  I have a job that I am passionate about, where I can inspire reluctant readers to take a chance on losing themselves in a story.  I have been given an imagination that creates characters so vividly in my mind that I am able to share their lives with the rest of the world.
                So, how do I find balance?  I breathe.  ;-)  I schedule my life meticulously.  I remember what is important in life – my son, my family, my health, my livelihood, and my friends.  I embrace my passions and find moments to enjoy them.  I surround myself with a happy bubble and continuously work to strengthen its barriers.  I remember that every day is temporary, and I am given a new opportunity the next morning to start all over again.  I am not that person up on a high wire who tries to juggle seven oddly shaped objects without falling to her death.  I am the girl, sitting on a cushion, in front of a 1000-piece puzzle, finding a way to make all of the pieces fit, one by one.  And I’m happy.