balance in increments

I won’t lie, with these record high temperatures we WERE having in the T-dot over the past two weeks came a spike in my social activity, which also correlated to a spike in my drinking more alcohol activity, which led to spending money irresponsibly, poor eating, and lack of sleeping.  My body is kind of paying for it now, I can tell.  I haven’t had any crazy flare ups of the ol’ RA, but my joints are feeling a little less agile and a little more puffy these days.

I have been seemingly forever frustrated by the challenge of finding a balance in so many areas of my life – my health probably chief among them.  I swing from the far healthy to the far debaucherous like nobody’s business and always give myself a hard time for it.  I don’t know how many of you have had experience with diets or cleanses, but it seems like most people I talk to have also had this happen.  They are going along just swimmingly and as soon as they introduce just one item off their “do not” list, it’s like an uncontrollable downward spiral occurs.  “Well…I DID just have that cheeseburger, so why not also follow that up with a piece of cake…?!”  It’s a really weird logic our brain uses in this sense and I can never figure out if in me this is a manifestation of a lack of self-discipline, or if there is something more going on that I am not aware of.

To tie this back a little bit to yesterday’s post I do believe that we treat our bodies and minds in the most healthy ways when we have self-respect and love for ourselves.  But as Peck points out in his book, love requires discipline and effort.  We often must commit to things we do not wish to be doing in order to help the ones we love.  It seems most of us are not too great at giving ourselves as much respect.  Maybe that is what it all comes down to for me.  I am an extremely giving person, sometimes I would say detrimentally so, but I have a hard time extending the same care, attention, and thought to myself as I do to those dear to me in my life.  And this is especially pronounced by the times in my life when I do become selfish with my time, focus on my health, and always feel the better for it.  So why is this such a hard thing to sustain?

Partially because it is work.  Staying home, cooking healthy meals, working out – all of these things require some discipline.  Going out and blowing money, and eating junk, and drinking…well these things kind of come a lot easier don’t they?!  And I am not saying they are mutually exclusive, rather they don’t have to be, but it seems like my life is normally characterized by a pronounced leaning towards one side or the other.  I am struggling to find a way to find a balance through incremental changes.  So that each time I lean to one side the see-saw goes down just a little bit less than the time before.  I figure if I repeat this continuously on both sides I think two things will happen.  First, the seeing and the sawing will become less extreme and secondly, the fulcrum will undoubtedly shift closer towards the healthy and moderated end of things.

Here is to hoping anyway!

the fine art of balancing

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