Friday, July 17, 2020

SJT & SOS: Balancing, Prioritizing, & Puzzling

 It's time to show up with our friends for 
Spiritual Journey Thursday.  Carol at 
Beyond Literacy Link is hosting our gathering and
selected balance during the quarantine as our July theme. 

I struggled with our theme for this post until I picked up The Definitive Guide to Self-Care during my middle of the night insomnia bout on Wednesday night. It's an alphabetical look at self care. And surprisingly, the first entry under B (where my bookmark lay) was balance. The entry suggested that we make a list of every aspect of daily life and then note whether each activity charges our battery or leaves us feeling depleted. Then our task is to figure out what changes to make or what to add that would help restore some balance to our lives. Apparently to live a balanced life, we need to seek a balance between things that mentally revitalize us and things that tire us out. Simple enough. And then I followed the note at the end of the entry: "See also Prioritize."

So I flipped to the Ps for that entry. It began with the question, "Are you focusing your energy on the right things?" And then a reminder that we will never be able to do it all, an extremely freeing thought. Not everything fighting for our time, energy, and attention deserves it. Our challenge? Figure out which things can wait, which things don't matter, and which things it's okay to be just average at (not everything in life is deserving of our full focus).

And then I turned the page. The prioritize entry was completed, but my eyes were drawn to an entry on the opposite page, puzzle.  Quarantine time has been a time of renewed interest in jigsaw puzzles. I liked this observation: "It's incredibly satisfying and meditative to turn a disorganized pile of fractions into something lovely and whole when everything else feels like it's falling apart."

When I revisited this entry on Friday morning, I decided to add a graphic created from a Zoom meeting I recently attended. Because sometimes in order to find balance, we may have to find our way out of a funk first.

To savor the magic of story, join the fun each Thursday by linking your story at Sharing Our Stories.


  1. "Are you focusing your energy on the right things?" - excellent question, Ramona. As are your three ways to work toward balance. We are designed with a need to feel productive and the worst part of balance being so disrupted as it has this year is the attendant paralysis - or, put simply, being in a rut. I read recently that we focus so much on "output" as a measure of success but how about "input"? What new skills do we want to learn, or what feelings and lessons to we want to absorb? That is where my mind went as I read your words "things that fill your cup and energize you." Sometimes it is a matter of reinvention! Thank you for the encouragement today :)

  2. I really needed to see that list after a fairly funky week. The way you define balance is inspiring, and I love the idea of solving a puzzle.

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Ramona. I think that being retired helps a lot with the balance of life. I have the desire to only do those things that really matter in my life. I pray for my daughter, Michelle, that as busy as her life is with the twins and teaching that she can achieve a level of balance that will make the difference in her well being.

  4. You never fail to give me something to ponder. It is easier to balance and prioritize these pandemic days. What I want to do is not an option any longer.

  5. Ramona, it is tricky for me to find balance during my days because of the added stress of the move but I am trying. Your list is a very good one and I will pass it on to my son who is feeling so isolated by this virus. I am intrigued by how you moved from struggling with the theme to finding peace. Thanks for sharing the process with all of us. It is so helpful to receive thoughts from others on how to approach the balance puzzle.

  6. I'm so glad I read this, Ramona. I'm intrigued by the book and of course I love your response and reflection.

    I've always been a sound sleeper -- once my head hits to pillow until the next morning. However, in the last month I've started to be wide awake when I "should be" sleeping. I'm interested in following your lead of reading and reflecting the next time I'm awake in the night.
    XO, Ruth