In John's Words: Goals for a Blended Life
Posted: Dec 29 2016
Of course it’s a fact of life that we are all too busy. We juggle jobs, families, hobbies, housework, volunteering, exercising, feeding our bodies, feeding our souls, sleeping, keeping up…. Keeping up deserves it’s own blog post as it continually demands more and more of our time-- 24/7 Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, text messages, emails, newspapers, radio, TV, endless websites, apps, blogs…
A little stressful, right?
But can you or I even imagine a solution? What am I really willing to give up? Because I actually enjoy all these things (except Twitter which drove me crazy and I abandoned early on). Given a 48 hour day, I would indulge fully in every single activity. But that isn’t happening…
So what to do?
My New Year’s resolution starts with a change in mindset, not so much in action. Rather than thinking of each of these demands on my time as a separate, competing, compartmentalized job, I want to see them as harmonious elements of a blended life. As scattered music notes that when played together actually make a tune. Time is finite. Fact. Somehow it’s got to be in my attitude where there’s some leeway.
So here are some goals: find inspiration in the news for my work; synergy between my jewelry and my fine art; Online insights for my offline daydreaming; a chance to breath deep and be present as I straighten up the house. Also recognize that the final destination is not the point, it’s the journey I take that counts. The daily navigation, the twists and turns in the road, the detours, the stops along the way. My literal commute to and from the studio are as much a part of the story as the hours spent at my design desk or computer.
One thing I’ve been doing for years is reading the paper while sweating away on an elliptical machine. Very efficient, for sure. But lately, I’ve been craving a different kind of exercise—one that simultaneously calms my mind as it challenges my body. I remembered a long-ago yoga chapter, and decided to try it again. I’ve only taken 4 classes so far, but so far it has been a rewarding addition to my days. The first 15 minutes are anything but calming, but then something happens and as the class is winding down, and my mind is….quieter. And the best part is that the gentle hum I feel as I leave the studio sticks around a while, and makes all my subsequent activities and responsibilities feel sort of like an extension of the class. Individual exercises that build to an overall harmonious state of mind.
So resolution #2—Continue doing yoga. I can commit to once a week, try for two. See how long I can keep that hum going.
Putting it another way, life is not just about showing up and checking off a self-perpetuating, never-ending series of calendar entries. It is, to echo Oprah, about living our best lives—about taking all of these elements, activities, interests, responsibilities, sensations, adventures, inspirations, joys and struggles, and folding them into a larger, more integrated, appreciative, peaceful whole.
So what do you think? How do you all find balance– do you have any recommendations for me? What goals will you be setting for yourself this year? I'd love to know! After all, this journey is always a little bit easier when there is collaboration among friends.
Happy New Year Everyone! Here's to a great 2017!