Monday, 1 August 2011

Life balance

I have been reading various blogs about trying to achieve life balance, and I think this is a very interesting topic.  It is easy to get totally absorbed by a new project and forget about everything else around you.  For instance there is the classic mistake many people make of getting a new girlfriend/ boyfriend and forgetting about the existence of their other friends.  Then suddenly the relationship ends and they wonder why noone calls them to invite them out or ask how they are feeling.

I have as a youth been very poor at achieving a balance.  I would throw myself head first into new projects and new relationships.  Then whenever I took a moment to examine my life I wondered why for instance I was playing squash 7 days a week for 3 hours a day, and what it was actually achieving me.  Then I would give it up and the pattern would repeat with something else.  Throughout my youth I have at various points been completely absorbed by running or cycling or squash or martial arts or exploring new countries.

I think in the last few years I have become much better at achieving a balance.  It is also extremely important to have the right partner to support you.  For instance in previous relationships I didn't feel I could enter events like La Marmotte because the girlfriends at that time would complain about the amount of time that I was spending on my bike.  It felt somehow like I wasn't able to do the things I wanted to do for myself, and everything I did felt like a compromise.  Of course in any relationship there need to be compromises - we are not clones after all.  But at the same time in a healthy relationship it is good for each partner to have their own mini projects too.

I am now at the point where I am fairly balanced, and I would like to stay in this state more or less.  I am focusssing my energy into both my relationship and my personal goals like the Marathon des Sables.  I have my freedoms but at the same time my responsibilities, like looking after our dog.  I am able to travel but at the same time I have a home to come back to.  Overall I am much happier than I used to be when I was not balanced.

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