I recently found myself lounging briefly in my favorite spot on the patio, staring up into a large tree. The sky was a perfect blue, birds were singing, and the kids were happily playing nearby. I said to myself, “Now this should be part of my day every day, just like my morning coffee, getting dressed, checking my email, caring for the kids needs….. I will add it to my list- Stop whatever you are doing and lie down on the wicker loveseat to look at the trees and sky, at least once a day to recharge”. This thought led to the ever present question of how do we balance it all. As mom, professional, wife, sister, daughter, and self, how do we fit it all in every day? Maybe the answer is that we don’t. We don’t fit it all into one day, every day. Maybe flexibility is the answer. Some days I am more stay at home mom. Other days I am more caretaker to my aging mother. Other days I put more energy towards my business, some days more energy towards my marriage, and hopefully some days or hours energy for myself! I realize that it depends on the day and needs that arise. The slices of my pie are not symetrical or equally divided every day.
I have experimented this summer with letting go, slowing down, consciously enjoying free time, enjoying water and grass and sky and toddlers. To my surprise, it has not been so easy (the letting go part). I explored this, and realized that it comes down to fear. If I let go of something, I might not get it back. I might lose my workaholic drive if I put it away for summer. This brings up up all kinds of issues to explore further, but I will come back to them in future posts (control, priorities, values etc) and stay focused on flexibility today (and not flexilibity in the gymnastic sense).
1. a. Capable of being bent or flexed; pliable.b. Capable of being bent repeatedly without injury or damage.2. Susceptible to influence or persuasion; tractable.3. Responsive to change; adaptable: a flexible schedule.
Flexibility, adv, capable of withstanding stress without injury and figuratively to what can undergo change or modification: a flexible wire; flexible plans; an elastic rubber band; an elastic interpretation of the law; thin, resilient copper; a resilient temperament; supple suede; a supple mind.
These definitions are from www.thefreedictionary.com, and I love them. They remind me that rigidly adhering to a schedule, or plan, or list may cause me to snap or break. So is it really balance we are seeking? or increased flexilibility? Letting go of some expectations some days, and trusting that we will meet them another day, living in the moment, and bending with the situation, might be more satisfying and attainable. Some days we will have waffles for dinner, skip baths, play outside til dark and let the laundry pile up in mountains on the couch. Some days I will get my five minutes lounging and looking into the trees and sky. Other days I will catch up on emails, phone calls, paperwork, and laundry.
How flexible are you? Ponder this definition. Are you pliable, resilient, supple, adaptable, or elastic mentally, emotionally, and energetically? What one thing will you do this week to practice flexibility? Just one thing.