September as the new New Year's - Resolve to find balance
What the heck does that mean!? January is New Year’s….right? As an Osteopath DO(MP) I have a lot of teachers as clients. I’ve been listening; watching them exhale in July as the stress of their jobs slowly unravels from their tissues. As September rolls around I am now listening, hearing them gear up (maybe even look forward to) the beginning of their new year. They all seem hopeful. I haven’t witnessed a hint of trepidation. They all seem grateful even to ‘get back into the swing of things’. Other clients and friends of mine (not just the teachers) seem to relay similar thoughts “September is my month for running and hiking, makes me feel like I’m getting back to my routine.” Humans like routine. When we lose it, we often lose balance. When we’re out of balance you start hearing “Come September I’ll create a new routine” or “In September life will go back to normal”. But what is normal? Thanksgiving rolls around pretty fast after September ‘normal’. Halloween happens hot on heels of Thanksgiving. Then Christmas parties begin just a few weeks later – back to being busy all the time. If June – July- August – October – November and December are all months to fall out of balance, seems like we’re in a state of unrest for six months out of the year. It also seems as though new years resolutions start in September as frequently as they do in January. Except that September resolutions center on routine (aka balance). According to Huffington Post only 8 percent of people keep their New Years resolutions. I wonder if the same holds true for September resolutions.
So with 6 months out of the year being out-of balance, or lacking in routine, how do we find balance in our lives? Surely it can’t only be found January until May and then again after the first week of school in September. I guess we need to take a look at our lives and decide what balance means to us. I am a very organized person. I like my lists. Digital and handwritten, I always have a list on the go. This is how I stay balanced, when I have a bunch of things to do, they all get written down. I know I’ll get to them all eventually and never feel like I HAVE to get to any one of them faster then another. I don’t worry that I’ll forget one, it’s on the list, it’ll happen. I go to work and if it’s been a long day I don’t feel the need to run errands after work – I can get them done on another day. For the days that I have a lot of clients I take the opportunity to use out of office time for me. If that means a run, a hike, a bath or spending time at home, that’s the priority. On days with fewer clients, or on a day off I might aim to get a few items off the list – this way I feel as though I’ve accomplished something in the day, then take time for my self-care (see my blog on self-care and what that’s all about). This to me creates balance in my life. Yes, there have been times in my life where finding balance feels impossible. Maybe that’s where you are too. But I urge you to strive to create it. Maybe that comes in the form of a list. Maybe its just prioritizing things a bit differently. It doesn’t mean book yourself a spa day (that probably falls under the realm of self-care), it means a lifestyle change. It means making a resolution, a determination to stop ‘doing’ and start paying attention to what balance means to you. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘work-life balance’. Ok, that’s part of it. But what about life-life balance. If your life is consumed by your children’s schedules or your social calendar or your errands list, then where does doing YOU fit in? Only you can answer what doing YOU is. If it is spa treatments, then book more then one a year or that’s not balance. If it’s hiking, then resolve to go more often then just September or that’s not balance. Then resolve to keep it up during the six months out of the year when things get crazy and routine goes out the window. Along with lists, I have also learned to say NO. A lot. Sometimes its no to social events that I’m sure would have been great fun – but if that event is going to leave me feeling drained or if it takes me away from my horseback riding, then I happily say NO. I have found my balance after a long bout of loosing it. I have learned that what I consider to be my happy spot in life might change at any given time. And if it does, I have resolved to recognize that shift and honor it. So I guess my September resolution is to continue to shift, to change and to pay attention to where my balance is. Resolve to find your balance, resolve to find your happy place in life and resolve to shift it if it changes.