It’s a Balancing Act Stupid!

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I know, I know, I KNOW THIS!  Then why is it so easy to slip back into old patterns?  We transitioned into this caregiver role knowing the risks, but also seeing the possible rewards, and the rewards have been many.  I (with extreme type A personality disorder) thought I had a firm grasp on what I needed to do to balance this new life, that fine line between taking charge and keeping things organized, and running around with my hair on fire!  Just where is that darn fire extinguisher? 😉

No one who knew me from my old corporate days would have accused me of being a well-balanced gal.  Ok, maybe I fooled those who fleetingly passed me in the hall, a smile on my face, a warm hello.  Those who knew me more intimately saw the “get it done at all costs (now)” approach to life, stepping aside when they saw me coming, afraid I was going to combust and consume them in the ensuing flames (lol).

Seems that incorporating meditation and yoga into the retired life works to maintain balance only if you still have a regular practice (who would have thought?).   Guess I should have guessed how far off course I had wandered when recently I had to blow the dust off my meditation cushion and the unfurled yoga mat refused to lay flat, wanting to curl back on itself (sounds just like me!). 😉

meditation cushion in the pond

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the only one doing this crazy dance of running from dawn until dusk, ignoring the aches and pains, pushing at all costs to cross yet another project off the list.  As I look to my right, Terry is slumped in the chair right next to me at the end of the day, both of us silently pleading for the other to pour the much-needed glass of wine.  So here we sit, two with wanderlust trying to remain stationary for long periods of time.  Something was bound to happen sooner or later.

This morning, amidst birdsong, I walked to the end of the drive, gingerly sticking a toe across the property line.  Once I had determined there would be no electric shocks, I headed out.  Six miles of country road under my feet, a whisper on the breeze got my attention.  “Good morning Lulu.  Welcome back”.

I had forgotten how living in the moment felt, how important it is to our well-being, and those around us.  Now, if I could just get my muse to cease with the 3 a.m. wake-up call!  In a later post I will share a poem she pushed me to write, one which she believes freed me to pursue a balanced life once again.

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70 thoughts on “It’s a Balancing Act Stupid!

  • Good for you, Lu! I believe my world has fallen apart because I got out of the habit of meditating and living in the moment. I am glad you got back on track and are doing so well. As for me, I’m still struggling with creating new old habits, but continue to work on it. Thank for all your support and teaching me about the value of taking time to meditate..

  • You know I was wondering when I would see a post like this 🙂 You guys have thrown yourselves 100% into this which is great…and also dangerous. Gotta take time for yourselves too. And remember…there is OUTsourcing too!! Lots and lots of COE and state parks around your area. You can take a trip and still be home before you get zapped 🙂
    Nina

    • If I had had the energy at the end of the day I would have written this post sooner! Knowing my personality, I could almost foresee this happening. When I began waking up in the middle of the night, planning the next day’s project, I knew I had a problem. I will send you an email and fill you in on some of the other things we are working on. Hope all is well with the two of you.

  • Lu.. so good to hear from you… I have had you on my mind so often lately as Dan and I are packing to go to San Elijo June 1st. LOTS of changes there and I will call you live when we get there to fill you in. New Seasons in our life can be so challenging and so hard. Especially for type A personalities. Just know you are loved by all of us and we look forward to the day when we can reconnect at the beach. Blessings to Terry as well. Linda and Dan

  • Nina, is right- take mini-trips!! Good for the mind and body. My Hatha Yoga practice, which I went to for many years provided both good health for mind and body. My body was strong and my mind relaxed. I need to get back to it, which is sometimes hard to do when traveling. I feel traveling six months out of the year can result in interruptions – home-based practice that becomes non-existent in the winter months. My fault!!!

    Take care and find ways to cope with your current situation – like your walk!!

  • LuAnn, you don’t know me, but I appreciate reading your blogs. In this case, I have already been there (care-giving) and know whereof you speak. I’m coming out the other side and discovering myself again. Take some short day trips to various locations like Englewood Taylorsville Dam and park. Or come on out to Centerville to visit so we can meet. I moved back here after years of living in Hawaii!

    • Thank you so much for visiting. We are going to start taking some short trips now that we have some projects behind us. The suggestion for the Taylorsville Dam seems appropriate as I believe there is hiking and biking to be done there, which is something we both enjoy. I would love to meet you and will definitely get in touch with you.

  • Have never figured out why it’s virtually impossible to do yoga at home without a class to go to. Caregiving takes so much. You really need to take a break every now and then. Even type A’s do, too! 😀

  • So glad you took time to write this and allow us to help in any way we can. Sometimes just letting it go with friends helps. Know we are here to listen when ever you need us. I totally understand, I have the same personality which was why retirement was good for my health. Getting away for even 48 hrs will fill you with new life. You are important! Please take a few mins or longer for yourself each day. I know, I know, it is hard to relax when the chore are mounting. But you can:) So thinking of you and sending relaxing prayers your way.

    • Thanks so much for this comment. For this very same reason retirement was good for my health. You know, I put off writing this because I didn’t want to sound like I was whining, and I try to find the humor in life, but I have gained so much from other blogs that I thought if I said it out loud, that would make it real and I would make a change. I am ready to find the balance. Would love to meet the two of you someday. 🙂

  • Hope you find that balance you long for. Life sure can be challenging ….. speaking from experience…lol. Hopefully you and Terry will be able to get in a weekend getaway soon. Take care 🙂

  • Hello! I started today with my self care! (Again!) Mindfullness and meditation are the foundations! Am not sure there ever really is a balance – only the ebb and flow of wants and needs of others as well as self Its when we are stretched and feeling an unsettledness in ourselves – that the ones of us who have the foundations – know what is missing. And can get grounded! So enjoyed our conversation and connection. Look forward to more times together. Love the water,streams and ocean – even the soft rain today was soothing! Take care……..hugs!

    • I am going to start doing more writing so you may see it yet or I just may start participating in your weekly challenge. Thanks Padmini.

  • Look at this last little bit as a reminder to stay in the moment and not let life make you crazy. Easier said than done but looks like you already are ahead of the game by recognizing what was happening. As others have said time to find something fun to do. 🙂

    • Thanks Janie. Posting this seemed to make it real and made me take responsibility for my actions. Given how exhausted we have been lately has reminded me of my dear departed friend’s husband who lived as a caregiver for 13 years. I admire him more and more everyday.

  • Over a long, slow (dead) winter a couple years ago, I allowed my body to take over the decision-making on my sleep schedule and found I feel better and function better with a lot less sleep than I thought I needed. At first I was a little concerned, but after checking around and even talking to my brother-in-law (the Brain Surgeon), it’s become normal for me to do no more than 3 to 5 hours a night. I sleep deeper, more restful – less waking up in the night … sometimes I’ll do more, sometimes less, but everybody’s different.

    • I did just what you are describing when I was much younger but now seem to desire more hours. Interesting how our bodies change as we age. Hope you are well Devon.

  • I look forward to the poem LuAnn. I understand how hard balance can be, my friend! Don’t overdo. Type A personalities are also strong, they just have to remember to take care of themselves also! 🙂 xx

      • Correct me if I’m wrong, but the very first issue that the type “A” personality has to deal with is “the nature of their personality”. That is almost a direct quote from my doctor from about 20 years ago, when we were arguing about something when I was coping with Crohn’s disease (which I did conquer!) He was right about the type “A” wrong about me. 🙂 Strength of purpose is not a bad thing. Stay the course, my friend! 🙂

  • some phases of our lives are not what we thought they would be–they surprise us and we have to gather new ammunition to handle them; keep the LuLu alive and well (some of my nephews nicknamed me this–though I usually go by Lou)
    good luck with what you are facing–the wanderlust will be answered again

  • You sound so much like me, LuAnn. \We get lost in trying to meet everyone’s needs around us; we sometimes forget ourselves. I don’t think that it is a bad thing, but it can hurt us mentally and physically. When I find myself getting lost, I pick up one of my many hobbies and go sit in my favorite chair outside. To me…nature is the cure all. God has given us so much to see and enjoy in nature. You have even shown that so many times in your posts. Keep your mind set on Him and his glorious outdoors. Peace be with you.

    • Thanks Marsha. I have to admit being somewhat surprised by how quickly I slipped back into some old habits. Taking that exercise walk yesterday was like a balm to my soul.

  • LuAnn I have to remind myself each morning to strive for the balance, to savour the moments and appreciate what beauty life gives. It is rather like a self affirmation. Too often it is easy to slip into personal ‘bad’ habits and then feel as though I have to start all over when all I really have to do is what you suggest. Slow down, assess, pull back, assess and not get drawn into drama (that is the tough part).

  • Oh LuAnn — I do understand. I think we all experience what you describe here in your heartfelt wonderful way. Our attention gets pushed and pulled in so many directions that sometimes we forget where our center realy is….where the balance lies. This concept is very much in tune with my current post too (Mono No Aware)… & when you experience what you described here:
    “a whisper on the breeze got my attention. ‘Good morning Lulu. Welcome back’. ”
    Oh my, how divine – How amazing. I am just so thrilled to read this… it was perfect timing for me….and as always you know just how to tell the “story” x 🙂

    • So many times when I read your touching comments I sit here with tears welling up, and this is no exception. You are a beautiful woman through and through. Thank you dear Robyn. 🙂

  • I am not at the Lulu stage with you yet LuAnn …. more the Loopy-Lu maybe 😉

    I know exactly where you are coming from as I cared for two years. Caring for someone is the most precious gift that you could ever give to a person. But you must give yourself a precious gift of “me” time. Open it up and enjoy your gift to yourself. Ralph xox 😀

    • I know this but how easily I slipped back into old patterns! Thankfully most of the physical labor is now behind us. Have a great holiday weekend. 🙂

  • That first tow over the property line must have been a tough one (not a tough toe, I mean, well you know what I mean) but after that the feeedom and the realisation of life in the moment must have been tremendous. What a release it was for the reader too, lovely that was.

    • Thanks SteJ. I think I needed to put it in writing to get myself back on track. Walking country roads isn’t the same as hiking in the mountains but there is no better way to calm me than being out in nature. 🙂

  • I can’t claim to understand your current load of responsibilities, having not yet hit that point with my parents, but I can certainly relate to the difference in my brain when I neglect to still it on a regular basis. I haven’t been able to sit down with a book in over a week, a sure sign my brain is rapidly descending into ADA. Thank you for the much needed reminder to shut up, sit down, and meditate! 🙂

  • This is such a beautiful and well written post Luann. And I am surprised by how many of us are alike!!!
    Now that you have let out your frustration and realised the value of living in the moment, can’t you just ditch that alarm clock? 🙂 Could you take turns taking a day off perhaps? Wish there was some way I could help. Take care Luann and stay well.

    • I just need to remind myself that I need to take care of me just as much as anyone else. I have told countless other friends just this but sometimes I don’t do a very good job of following my own advice. Hopefully I am now back on track, exercising regularly, yoga and meditation back in my schedule. Thanks for your kind thoughts Madhu. 🙂

  • It’s easy to say, but why it’s so hard to do — balance? Thanks for the reminder. Hope you get back on track. Take care, LuAnn!

  • oh, great rock photograph! that would make a great poster to hang in the most prominent place in the house as a reminder to breathe and keep in the balance of things. i laughed about your curling up yoga mat…ha ha. may this weekend be the start of more “chill” time for you. thanks for reminding us to stay balanced, always. ☺

  • OH yeah, I’m the master of “me” time. My “me” time weighs more than my “responsible me” time. Go and chillax. As for my “responsible me”, I’ll let chips fall where they may be ;). Funny post, Lu.

    • Obviously, I am not the master of “me” time. With balancing caregiving with gardening, and now treatment time for my hubby, it has been difficult to carve out much me time. I am working on it. 😉

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