There is a quote that is attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson that reads:

“Moderation in all things, especially moderation.”

Reading or hearing this quote always makes me stop and pause to think about the balance in my own life. While I think it is important, and I strive for, moderation in my life, I also find value in moments of excess. I suppose it all depends on where you expend your excess that determines the value of it to your life. Balance is most important when you overextend yourself in one way or another and need to physically or emotionally ‘land on your feet.’

I am fortunate that some days my work schedule allows me to go for a morning run, sit down with a cup of coffee, read or reflect, maybe write a little and start my ‘work day’ pretty much whenever I’d like to start it. Other times I’m racing from the bed to the shower to the airport to a meeting and the day seems to start and end at breakneck pace. The thing that always allows me to land on my feet when I’ve overextended myself with a series of those breakneck days is balance. Balance emotionally, physically, relationally, and spiritually.

On a normal day, home or on the road, I don’t have time for both a morning workout and morning reflection and solitude. What I have chosen to do is balance those things. Yesterday after I walked the kids to the bus stop I went for a 3 mile run and then came home, ate breakfast, showered and started my day. I was at the computer working at 8:30a. This morning after the bus stop I came back home, ate breakfast, read, prayed, and journaled for 40 minutes and started my day. I was at the computer working at 8:30a. I didn’t feel guilty yesterday for not having time for reflection. I didn’t feel guilty this morning for not having time for a run. I am trying to create a balance in my life so that next week when I’m flying from coast to coast with presentations, client meetings and spending days full of work and craziness that I land on my feet and don’t fall over (emotionally or physically).

Don’t get me wrong…if someone was going to pay me to structure my day exactly as I’d like it, I’d have time for a run and reflection every single day. But that isn’t in the cards in this stage of life for me so rather than throw my hands up in frustration that I can’t be more diligent to run 5 days a week or getting down on myself because I only make time to pray and journal 2-3 times a week, I just try for balance. When I have that balance, I truly can achieve moderation in all things, including moderation.


One thought on “Balance

  1. That is one great post……I am so happy that you realize this. It’s a reminder to me, too, because I tend to set up my own “rules” for how my schedule, life, commitments, regimens, etc. should operate, and then I make myself feel guilty for breaking my own rules. You just reminded me about the importance of balance and moderation, with the occasional all-out mono-maniacal outbursts being ok…… as long as I pull back to balance and moderation. Thank you.

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