I went to church today. For the second Sunday in a row. It's progress, at least. We have a new interim minister, he seems like he'll be interesting.
What is balance, anyways? It would seem that one must know the answer to that question before achieving it. Is it meditating? Is it being "one with nature"? Is it simply being happy with your life as is?
Perhaps balance is about something more. Should it be about having friendships and hobbies outside of your workplace/family life? 98% of my friends live generally too far away for me to meet up with on a regular basis, and our schedules conflict too much to meet. Most I haven't seen in at least a couple of years. The other 2% are work friends, and just about the only thing we have in common are when we are venting about work over a beer/soda after our shift. And hobbies? I suck at art. I love to travel to new, faraway places, but don't have time and can't afford it. I want to try things like kayaking and canoeing, but I hesitate to try such activities alone for safety reasons, and meeting up with friends is presented with the aforementioned issue.
Then I think, maybe balance is a little bit of all of that, based on the circumstances you're in. Maybe I should try kayaking by myself(after of course seeking instruction from a class, or maybe at least having a guide with me). Maybe I should attempt to attend church more regularly than I do, in order to further develop the acquaintances I've made through others of similar religious leanings. Maybe I should go to the next Buddhist meditation group meeting that meets once a month. Or perhaps I'll become further active in the church's Environmental Missions Group, which I'm officially a member of, which works to promote environmentally friendly practices among the church's members, including being the primary coordinator of the church's Earth Day celebrations(in my particular church, the only celebrations that surpass Earth Day are Christmas and Easter, and they make a very big deal out of Earth Day).
I have yet to find a meditation technique that really consistently works for me. God knows I need the stress reduction. I have my Oracle cards and Tarot cards. I also have a set of Runes that I haven't yet learned the meanings for to even begin to know how to meditate on them or use them. I have books with meditation techniques, such as one that has a "finger labyrinth", for you to meditate while tracing your finger through the maze. I just rediscovered that one last night, so perhaps I'll try it. I even have this watercolor board, that I bought from the bargain section of a Barnes & Noble, where you can paint on it with water, and as the water fades, the painting disappears. It's supposed to represent you getting your stresses out, and seeing them fade away as the water dries. I have beautiful sounding New Age music on my iPod, which works less for meditation and more to help me get to sleep on a restless night. My mind has too much chatter, too much going on inside it. If I'm not worried about something, I'm thinking about something. If I'm not thinking about something, I'm planning something. The curse of the intellectual.
Perhaps, in the end, balance is just about being who you are, right now. Having everything you need for the moment, no matter your situation. Perhaps it's as the poem "Four Things" states: if you have faith, peace, love, and friends, you have everything.
First One I've Missed
7 hours ago