I had hoped to publish my inspirational word for the new year about four weeks ago. Needless to say it didn’t happen. Time flew by and now it’s February 1st and I’m finally sitting down to write. It’s a bit serendipity because my #oneword for 2024 is balance. These days I find life is a balancing act. That’s why balance is my focus for the next 11 months.
As I get older I’m finding it harder to create balance in my life. You would think that being 10 years into retirement that I would have found a better rhythm. Yet I haven’t. Perhaps it’s because there are so many things I want to do and my interests are so broad.
Choosing an inspirational word
Health educator Andy Milne says: “The theory behind the idea of identifying a single guiding word is that it points us toward the type of person we want to become. I visualize this as a word that sits on my shoulder and gently nudges me towards a more improved version of myself.”
What is the meaning of balance?
According to Oxford Dictionary the noun balance means
- an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady
- a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions
When used as a verb, balance means
- keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall
- offset or compare the value of (one thing) with another
Will I ever be in a state of equilibrium? I don’t know. Can I do better? Absolutely, and I intend to work on my balance so that by the end of the year I’ll be standing strong on both one foot and two.
What do I need to work on balancing in 2024?
My living arrangements: I feel blessed to spend my winters in Southwest Florida and my summers at my condo-on-the-corner at the New Jersey shore. Then there is my permanent home in Southern New Jersey. In addition I spend time at my BF E’s two places, clocking hours on the NJ Turnpike during the spring and fall and on Florida’s Highway 75 in Florida. How do I balance it all?
Hint: Things are going to change in a big way in 2024 as E and I have decided to merge our households. It’s exciting and scary. After 16 years on my own (since losing my spouse) I’m going to be co-habitating again.
My health: My flat feet, my aching legs, my IBS and twisted colon, my high cholesterol, my sometimes ulcer, my occipital pain and tight traps, my osteopenia, my dry eyes, my dry vagina, and my bladder cancer that is at bay. It’s a juggling act as I get up in years.
“Consume more calcium, don’t eat too much fat, watch your sugar, eat more fiber, eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day, get enough exercise, and don’t forget to get sufficient hours of sleep.” How do I balance it all for peak performance and well-being?
My entertainment media and news: With so many streaming services available it’s easy to find myself bingeing programs or feeling overloaded by multiple screens – between my iPhone. iPad, and SmartTV. There’s Hulu; Netflix; Amazon Prime; PBS: and MAX.
“You are entitled to a free 3-month subscription to Apple+ since you bought a new computer,” said the Apple salesperson. “Wow-o-wow, now I can watch Lessons in Chemistry and The Morning Show,” I exclaimed How do I watch all these shows?
And I can’t forget about the numerous online newspapers and newsletters that arrive in my inbox each morning. They include The New York Times and about six NYT newsletters on everything from business news, food and restaurant news, to morning and evening roundups. Then there are complimentary subscriptions to other newsletters such as Katie Couric’s Morning News and The Huffington Post.
“You are entitled to a free 3-month subscription to Apple News since you bought a new computer,” said the Apple salesperson. “OMG, that’s amazing,” I replied not thinking I would ever have time to add all the publications to my news and entertainment roster.
How do I balance it all?
Blogging, emails and social media: This is another major category to balance. “Your screen time this week was 5 hours per day” prompted my iPhone alert this week. Five hours a day! OMG how is that possible. I have to get a life outside of my iPhone. It’s a big part of being a blogger and I don’t even blog full-time. In addition to my blogging there is Facebook; Instagram; X; LinkedIn and Pinterest.
It’s a good thing my menopausal mind and body are depleted of estrogen so I’m awake quite a few hours. The sleepless nights allow me time to burn the midnight oil with a favorite fiction or memoir. I do want to read more books during retirement.
How do I balance it all?
I haven’t complete answers yet but intend to figure things out in 2024. With balance looking over my shoulder I’m going to attempt to put a new perspective on the next 334 days. Will I succeed? I’ll let you know. See you on the other side. Any tips or suggestions are welcome.