Danz: Restoring balance in daily life
Why fill our days so high to the brim that the things that make us flow get pushed out or forced in? The things we love should be the last to be cut when we make sacrifices. They’re the balms to our burnout.
I’m trying to get back to the time I easily absorbed early mornings.
I remind myself to relish in the unique perspective of the world to which I’m privy while most others sleep. While I run, I fill every minute with constant reminders to be grateful to be in motion despite the oppressive heat and humbling comeback. When I find time to read or write, I try not to mind the hiccups that steadily interrupt my flow. Routine will re-welcome the release my passions offer.
Lately, my life has become a dance of two days on and one day down. My days don’t rest in any semblance of balance. They reside in the extremes of all or nothing.
Seeking sustainability in how I approach my days, I had an “aha!” moment while on a recent run. After taking the day before off from running, I found myself thinking, “you’re not trying to make up for yesterday, and you don’t have to get a jump start on tomorrow.”
What a concept. If we remain stuck on yesterday or focused on tomorrow, what good will today do us? By trying to apologize to yesterday or please tomorrow, all we’re doing is perpetuating the cycle that keeps us unfulfilled. Everything, even the things we love, becomes a chore.
When we do everything or nothing in a single day, the things we love get piled on and carried out on fumes or cast aside entirely. Either because we’re too busy or too exhausted for them. Why fill our days so high to the brim that the things that make us flow get pushed out or forced in? The things we love should be the last to be cut when we make sacrifices. They’re the balms to our burnout.
For too long, I’ve chosen to be productive rather than happy. I kept thinking the productivity would make me happy, but when you never say “no” to anything and pile responsibilities right next to pleasure, everything blends together. Like a picky eater when foods touch, everything lacks appeal. Even the things you like, you want nothing to do with.
Moving forward, I’m going to do what feels right, right now. I’m not going to add on what I should have done yesterday to what I need and want to do today, and I’m not going to take on part of tomorrow in hopes that it will put me ahead.
Today is a new day that’s able to support itself. It’s not meant to build on or make up for yesterday and it’s not meant to take on the weight or unknowns of tomorrow. The success of doing what feels right, right now will depend on being able to forgive myself for the imperfections of yesterday and not be intimidated by what tomorrow holds.
Balance means meeting my responsibilities but not being chained to them. It means finding time for writing, reading and running because they’re what ground me. It means prioritizing people over productivity, accepting that the rigid rules of routine have room to move, and that today is independent of yesterday and tomorrow. Balance means giving myself grace and trusting that I’m enough right where I’m at.
Danz is an avid runner, reader and writer. She’s a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead who lives, works and believes in downtown Fargo. She’s a regular contributor to The Forum’s opinion pages.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.