Do you sometimes feel like you’re sleepwalking? Do you feel that your light isn’t shining as bright, that you’ve lost your sparkle?
This year, I realized that when I lose my balance, my sparkling eyes hit the road, too! And that if I don’t work on maintaining my balance, it naturally comes undone.
What do I mean by balance? The balance I’m talking about is the one that changes according to the speed at which we live. For me, it fluctuates between a very full life and moments of refreshing calm, with exhilarating accelerations and soothing decelerations, interspersed with moments where time is suspended and seems to stretch out to wow us.
But there are times when I don’t sparkle as much, and those times usually come when I get caught up in the motion, or when I get lost in our routine. Sometimes I get caught up in the whirlwinds of life and forget to slow down and enjoy the calm moments. I forget what’s important and I lose my way.
Other times, I get lost in the daily grind. It’s crazy, because there’s something so comforting about routine, that we often try to recreate it, wherever we are. And when we manage to recreate it, we feel more in control, more comfortable. But very quickly (well, at least for me!), the routine becomes a bit mechanical and the feeling of freedom that I often associate with adventure, gets lost in the mix.
So how do I keep my balance?
I don’t pretend to have the answer to everything—but for me, one of the keys is to ask yourself the right questions. And to ask them again. Day after day, week after week.
Why? Because that’s what keeps my eyes and heart on what’s important. Because it’s the only way I’ve found not to get too caught up in the routine, not to lose myself in the movement!
Here are the 4 questions that help me keep my balance:
1_ Is it really necessary (and if so, why?).
There are days when I just feel LAZY, like I really don’t feel like accomplishing anything. And on those days, I’ve learned to stop fighting. And to let go. On these days, there may be four loads of laundry waiting for me. But if I ask myself if it’s absolutely essential that I deal with them, right now—and not later—when I could be out enjoying the nice weather and when truthfully, I DON’T feel like doing laundry at all? The answer is obvious. Of course, it can’t be like this all the time, but I know that I tend to put pressure on myself out of a sense of obligation—when I could (and should!) just be savouring life. This question really helps me let go.
2_ What would make my family smile today?
This is a silly question—but in the last few weeks, as the 5 of us spend so much time together, I realize that I am not the only one who officially dislikes routine. The kids need it badly, but it bores them too! So how do you make everyone smile and get them to escape routine a little bit every day? For me, it’s all about finding ways to smile. And it can really be quite simple, like going outside to watch the sunset or grabbing a quick bite to eat on the road. It could also be to stop everything to go listen to the storm or make a pit stop by the park. You could also have a picnic. The possibilities are endless… And all the ways are good to outsmart your routine!
3_ What will I accomplish today?
This is something I learned recently while listening to a podcast and I really appreciate it! I set a goal in the morning and when I reach it during the day, it grants me permission to stop working without feeling guilty (yes, even though I could still work 50 hours and accomplish many other things). Asking myself this question gives me full permission to unplug and enjoy precious moments that I would otherwise deprive myself of. (Workaholic? Maybe just a little).
4_ Did I enjoy a “me” moment today?
This question is great, because in my mind (the one that still forgets she isn’t superwoman), self-care doesn’t have a place in the equation and therefore, it always comes last. I’d be lying if I said I was making it a priority now, but “me time” is now on my list of essential things—and that’s already a big improvement! Asking myself this question allows me more often to choose to relax with a good book instead of always striving to be efficient. And the more self-care I allow myself, the more I enjoy it!
That’s it! It may sound silly—but I find that often it’s the silly things that set us free when we give them the importance they deserve.
What about you, are you more of a routine person or do you run away from routine with adventures? What are your tips for keeping balance? Share them with me!