This morning, I revisited a piece I'd written at the ripe old age of 32 -- when I thought I had it all together. At that point, I was amazed that I'd lived 32 years without realizing what balance truly is. At that point, I learned that balance was far more complicated than I ever knew.
It's a lesson I'm still learning.
You see, we never stay in the balance point. Whether driving a car or riding a bicycle, we are continually moving through that point. When you ride a bike, you shift to the right – slightly off balance. You correct that by moving through the balance point to the left. And then you repeat the process.
The difference between an amateur and an expert is reflected in how close they stay to the balance point. A five-year-old learning to ride a bike will shift back and forth, going wide and often falling down. Lance Armstrong, however, rides so close to the balance point that his shifting is imperceptible.
We can apply that same theory to everything else in our lives -- whether it's walking in the 3-Day, raising kids or just about anything else.
For one thing, it’s important to realize that no one runs a perfect life – some people stay closer to the balance point than others, but it’s impossible to hold that course indefinitely. Some of us tend to focus on one area at a time, neglecting other areas. Maybe we’ll focus on fundraising, but fail to train. Or we’ll be so focused on training that we let our rest and recover time slide. Once we come to the realization that we’re neglecting those areas, we’ll over-compensate in the other direction.
My life is a textbook example of that. For much of the spring, I had two main focus points. To get the Simply Pink calendar finished in time for Mother's Day and to get the school yearbook finished before its deadline. Relaxation time wasn't anywhere on my radar screen. Neither was cleaning my house.
The pendulum swung. The calendars are finished, and we're into the easy part. The yearbooks were safely delivered this week to an undisclosed location, and we'll be passing them out in a couple of weeks. I've awakened to the fact that we'll be spending a long weekend at the Creek in about two weeks, and I've got to get in swimsuit shape. The focus has shifted. I'm going to bed at 10:00 rather than 1:00 a.m. Another shift. Still not cleaning the house.
What’s the answer? I don't know..... In my fifth year of walking the 3-Day, I can tell you it really is a balancing act. It's this dance between walking, fundraising and running the rest of your life. You will shift in and out of the balance point, but don't let it get you down. Each aspect of the 3-Day is due an appropriate amount of time and focus. You can't singularly focus on training at the exclusion of fundraising. Nor can you train on your feet all week long without taking a day of rest. It's all a balance.
And we do need to balance our lives outside the 3-Day as well. It’s so easy to move wildly through that balance point while trying to juggle a career, the 3-Day, your family, etc. Take some time to simply chill out with your kids. Take them on a bike ride or to the local swimming hole. Read a book. When life is balanced, life is good.
Now.... Because balance is important in your diet as well, and you should have "fun" foods every now and then, I URGE you to get on over to a KFC and pick up a Pink Bucket of Love! That's right, Food is Love -- and Fried Chicken is some of the best! And while you're thinking about that, please head on over to my Bucket Blog and leave a comment! BlogHer will donate $1 to Komen for each comment on my Bucket Blog!!!!
What makes you want to be a different, better person?
How often does that "inspiration" cost more than you really want to give?
Tonight I was just thinking that I really wanted to be inspired to write something amazing that would inspire YOU in return. Something that would encourage you to get out there and do something incredible.
But as I look back over the last few days, I'm not coming up with anything like that. We've kinda had a rough few days around here.
My Step-father, Milton, is in the hospital in Midland. I'm not sure at what point you say someone is on life support, but I think he's there. He's on a vent, a feeding tube, a central line. He's sedated. Has pneumonia. One lung is 50% full of fluid. The other is 30%. Physically, I can't be there. I have no way of solving this problem. BUT I can pray. And pray I do.
In a completely unrelated situation, I've heard in the last 48 hours about two 3rd-grade friends who are being bullied at school. Two very sweet, very precious girls. Girls can be so mean. But 3rd-grade girls, when they're just learning independence and free-thinking.... I don't know if that's it or not. But I can tell you, 9-year-old girls can be downright mean. And maybe the reason that's so dangerous is that 9-year-old girls aren't ready to be on the receiving end of that. The one side has no idea how damaging they are. And the other side has no real tools for dealing with it.
Both of these situations have pretty much taken over my thoughts -- both in completely different ways. And guess what? Both inspire me.
The situation with Milton is different than what we went through with my Mom, but it's also the same. With Milton, there is hope for a recovery. With Mom, not so much. But much of the vocabulary is the same.
Ventilator. I remember the morning M'Lys woke me up with a phone call asking if we should put Mom on a vent. I remember the drive to Lubbock. All 9 hours of it.
Feeding tube. That's the one that got me. I remember so very clearly the day they began giving Mom "nutrition" -- the fact that she wasn't going to eat on her own again. Never again would she sneak bites from someone else's plate.
And while we're praying so hard for Milton's recovery, it brings back the flood of memories from when Mom passed away. And yes, it's a reminder of how much we've lost. And how I need to keep working to make the world a better place.
And the situation at school... Just a reminder that no matter how much things change, they stay the same. It's a different era. This generation of iPods and Wii's is completely different from our generation. But girls are girls -- and their actions and words can be just as painful.
And boy, does that inspire me. You can ask my Abbie-girl. We've had a LOT of dialogue about bullying and taking up for your friends and all sorts of things in the last 24 hours.
Again, I'm inspired to make the world a different place. And starting with my very own 9-year-old seems like a pretty good place.
So what inspires you? And what do you plan to do about it?
How 'bout you share that with us? Or better yet, hop on over to my Bucket Blog and share it with my Bucket Buddies. We're still short on comments over there.
Help Whip Cancer with Pampered Chef and Team Tiara!!
Join us for the 3F's - Food, Friends and FUN(draising)!!!
Grilled Chicken Penne Al Fresca and Pink Dream Dessert (Learn how to make this under 30 minute meal!) Exclusive Pink Products in May Door Prizes (Bring a Friend) 2 Free, Reusable Grocery Bags with $60 Purchase
Melissa Martin's House
Friday, May 14
If you are unable to attend, contact me for a catalog and order form, or order online at www.pamperedchef.biz/jenniferhorton?page=host-search-results&showId=2567328
Net proceeds will all go to Team Tiara and Members' 3Day Fundraising Accounts supporting Breast Cancer Research and Programs.
If you would like to make a donation, or learn more about Team Tiara, visit www.teamtiara.net
Whoo-Hoo! What better day to support the Breast Cancer 3-Day and our quest for a CURE???
There are so many ways YOU can help annihilate Breast Cancer!
1. Check your chi-chi's. You know, you are your best defense!
2. Purchase the "Cooking for a Cure" cookbook and the "Simply Pink: Quilts for a Cure" calendar -- they're $20 each or the set is $35. And all proceeds go to support breast cancer research, education, awareness and support for those facing this terrible disease.
4. Register to walk with us. If you think May 5 is a big party, you should see us November 6-8. Holy Cow. Register online at the website above and use MAY2010 as your discount code and you'll save $20 on registration.
5. Now... Head on over to my Bucket Blog and leave a message. Every comment means we're $1 closer to the CURE!
The last two years my Mom was alive, she spent Mother's Day with us in Dallas. I was on Praise Team at the Branch, and somehow I "drew" Mother's Day both years. Those memories are memories I cherish -- sharing that with Mom.
Without a Mom to send a card to for Mother's Day, I have to admit this holiday is lacking somewhat. But the last two years I've started a new tradition. I send a few Mother's Day cards to other Moms in my life. To women who I think could use encouragement. To women who serve as role models for me. To women who I just plain love. Old Moms, New Moms.... You name it.
Mother's Day is this Sunday, and I don't have my cards in the mail yet. YIKES! Have you bought a gift yet for the Mom in your life?
Team Tiara's big spring fundraiser has been designing / selling Cookbooks and Calendars. I'm telling you, these would make fantastic Mother's Day gifts.
"Cooking for a Cure" is 234 pages and includes over 350 recipes. This spiral-bound cookbook includes many of my family's favorites -- many of the recipes my friends ask for over and over! The cookbooks are $20 each.
The "Simply Pink: Quilts for a Cure" calendar features 35 quilts made by 75 quilters from around the world. This calendar runs from May 2010 - December 2011 -- 20 months. The colors are absolutely beautiful. The calendars are also $20 each.
The set, including a calendar and a cookbook, is $35.
If you'd like to order cookbooks or calendars, just shoot me an email and let me know how many. If you'd rather support breast cancer research through a direct donation to the Breast Cancer 3-Day, you can do that at www.the3day.org/goto/formymom.
Either way, you will be helping support breast cancer research, education, awareness and services. You'll be helping cure breast cancer, so we can continue making Mother's Day memories with our kids for MANY years to come!
Energizer® is searching for 15 bloggers (one in each city the 3-Day for the Cure will be visiting) who would like to become a Keep Going® Blogger and blog about his or her experience walking in the 3-Day for the Cure. The selected walker/bloggers will be partnering directly with Energizer as they blog about their amazing journey. (Energizer will also sponsor each walker/blogger with a $2,300 contribution to fundraising - imagine the difference you can make in the fight against breast cancer with a $2,300 head start in your fundraising account!)
If you or someone you know is an avid blogger and walker and would like to participate in the 3-Day for the Cure, help raise awareness and support the search for a cure, Energizer may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by post on the wall at www.facebook.com/energizerbunny.
All these great photos and stories and all that jazz are under copyright. Do not use these photos, anecdotes, stories and other assorted "stuff" without permission of yours truly. I mean it. Don't make me give you the mean mommy look. It gives me wrinkles.
You can easily use this PayPal link to Donate to Team Tiara.
Thank you for helping us Save the Boobies!!!
I'm the wife of a really great guy and stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. I'm a princess because I'm a daughter of The King. These days, much of my time is spent shuffling kids from point A to point B, training/fundraising for the Breast Cancer 3-Day (60 miles in 3 Days!), and juggling the Family Circus that is my life. I'm a transplanted farm girl trying to blend what I know with life in the big city. I'm addicted to Mamma Mia -- the best musical I've ever seen. I love to wear jackets. I miss my Mom. A lot. I love Karen Kingsbury's books -- anxiously awaiting the publication of each. My IPod is my most-used accessory. I love to paint -- not art, but rooms! When the going gets tough, I start baking.