On Balance

????????????????????????????????????????I did a headstand in Yoga today.

I started taking this Thursday morning Yoga class a couple of years ago, when I left the big-deal media relations firm where I’d been an account executive and struck out on my own. Things were, well, slow at the start, especially since I was taking the moral high ground on the whole non-compete thing. It was an anxious time, to say the least. Yes, I’d left a job that was making me miserable, but I was also leaving behind a steady paycheck and benefits. The first few months, as I was spending money to market and build the new business, and, of course, still paying for child care, the whole enterprise-that-is-professional-me was seriously in the red. My part-time nanny was making more money than I was. Time to work out was touted as one of the great supposed advantages of self-employment and, since I had some serious weight to lose (thank you, job stress), I figured I’d use some of my nerve-wracking downtime to reacquaint myself with the gym. Yoga promised exercise and stress management – a perfect place to start. I fell in love with it.

Years later, I still make it a priority to get to this class, though my time is much more at a premium these days.

This morning, when I finally managed that headstand, I was ridiculously, fist-pumpingly proud of myself. (Admittedly, real yogis probably do not do the fist pumping thing.)

But I also felt a little silly. Surely there was something better and more important that I should have been doing just then instead of that headstand.

The previous night, after a busy day of work meetings, kid errands and all the usual stuff, I’d spent a couple of extra hours on the computer after putting the boys to bed and cleaning up. I was “getting ahead” with work just so I’d have the time for Yoga. That’s my usual practice – I tend to “work” most at home, alone, at night, and use my kid-free hours during the daytime for other things. It’s a perfect system, one that has evolved around the usual order of things around here, which is that my husband is on the road for his job all week, meaning there’s no one to hang out with at night, once the boys have gone to sleep. Except, last night, he wasn’t on the road. He was here. And I guess he kind of expected me to interact with him in some way or at least, you know, acknowledge his presence somehow.

I didn’t. I was too busy.

It was bedtime reading, kitchen clean up, computer, sleep. So, in making sure I had everything set to be able to do my “me time” Yoga class thing, I totally ignored my husband. The same husband I complain about never getting to spend time with.

Um, oops.

So, while I really wanted to write this great essay about how my achieving this headstand pose was a perfect metaphor for finding balance between all areas of your life and making it all work, it turns out, I can’t.

And I guess that’s all I really have to say about balance tonight.

Photo credit: Dreamstime

5 COMMENTS

  1. Great article, we’re all just doing our best and that’s an important thing to write about – just as important as totally nailing the work-life balance thing. Also, I just wrote an article about how elements of yoga relate to marketing that you might enjoy as a fellow aspiring yogi (http://goo.gl/esaji). P.S. I fist-pump when my poses are particularly successful – “real yogis” may or may not approve.

  2. Lovely piece – I’ve been diving (almost head first – excuse the pun) into Yoga for the past few weeks and I’ve been working up to a headstand – not quite yet but your story shows it’s possible!

  3. Oh, I can completely relate! My husband is often not home in the evenings so I use this time to work/blog/catch up on computer stuff. I am so set into this routine, that I often find it difficult to break these habits when my husband actually is home in the evening a couple of days a week. He has expressed his sadness about this and I’m making an attempt to our down my phone, turn off the computer, and actually acknowledge his presence on these nights. Balance is hard. Balance is challenging. Is balance really actually possible?? Good luck with your hectic days and congrats on the headstand!