Balance. Some how in the New Year I seem to hear this word everywhere, on the radio, in magazines, from the lips of all seeking to find their big resolution for the year. However as easy as it is to say, it is a nebulous entity when it comes to what is actually means.
I recently heard a radio host talking about balance, about how the rest of her goals and aspirations for the year would fall seamlessly into place if she could achieve this in her life. A busy career driven mother, even when stating this confidently on-air, the whole premise sounded more like a hope or longing than an achievable goal.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want for the year. Some people summarize this in terms of goals, for me I follow the “One Word” principle. No, I cannot take credit for inventing this succinct method of reflection, in fact for all those who are interested check out the book by Jon Gordon entitled “One Word” that encourages people to chose just one word that will anchor you for the next year.
I think about words like create and nurture. I especially like ‘create’ which gives me the feeling of a blank canvas and knowing that what I create doesn’t have to be perfect or even ‘good’, it just has to be something and even this is enough. Creation is a form of expression, for me personally it’s writing or speaking. In some ways, it’s conveying the word art in my head into tangible sentences that have meaning and hopefully convey something of value to others.
I contemplate the word nurture and think how beautiful this is when applied to my children. Sometimes I look at my two young boys, now 3 1/2 and 20 months and wonder “How did we get this far?”. I’ll never forget the saying a good friend said to me when I held my newborn tightly, “Shahana, never forget that event though the days are long, the years will fly by”. This year we will celebrate Eshaan’s 4th birthday and Ayaan’s 2nd birthday; they are certainly not babies anymore.
The truth is many days I don’t know whether I”m doing this whole parent thing right but when I think of the word nurture and keep this front of mind, suddenly I feel like I’m doing ok
My days are not balanced. Some days I’m at work more than I want whereas other days I’m drowning in “Baby shark”, mismatched puzzle pieces and uneaten dinner plates. Some days my mind is on work and everything I “should” be doing while I’m physically with the kids and other days, when I’m treating a mother with her family at the family practice office, I cannot help but feel a twinge of guilt at not being there for my own family.
It’s only when I take a step back and look at my week do I realize that I’ve done a lot for my family and I’ve done something for my career and in between I’ve found moments to take care of my physical health. Is this balance? I don’t know but it’s the closest thing I have right now. All I know is this, I want to give my family the best of me, not the rest of me…and maybe the word ‘balance’ gives us permission to do exactly this. To take those moments when they come to move our bodies, to exercise our mind and interact with others all in the hope that when we are with our family, we can be more present, more grounded and perhaps even more nurturing than before.
So I invite you to think of you word for the year. If it feels like one more thing to do, ignore this gentle request. However, if it gives you an anchor, a sense of grounding or a feeling of freedom…go ahead and explore your word…the possibilities really are limitless