Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Back and Balanced

Whew...took some time off there.

       Im not a self help guru and will never proclaim to be, never. I am too indecisive (open-minded, to be more positive) and I am willing to consider that in nearly all endeavors there is not a crystallized right and wrong way to do things. However,I just thought today would be a good day to stress the importance of balance in one's life. I have not posted in just over month and here is why; This semester I decided to take 4 graduate level courses, help a copuple of other grad students with their research project, work 2 teaching assistant (TA) positions, and continue with my part time job at the gym.In addition to this load, in January I also decided it was time to start passing some of my acquired knowledge forward (to anyone who wants to read it of course) and start a blog.With that in mind, I will always feel the need to workout at a high level of intensity and maintain a diet that I feel is at least in the ball park of being optimal for health.

     Needless to say I turned the concept of balance into a balancing act.Something had to give, if I were to maintain the little bit of sanity Im working with, so I figured with only a very small following, the blog would be the least impactful on my or anyone else's interests. Fortunately I am done with the semester now, and have decided to scale back my work load.  Don't get me wrong, I dont think my schedule was exactly back breaking, relatively speaking. For example, one of students this semester worked full time as a cop, took 12 credit hours, and maintained a marriage.  I know other people who maintain a much more daunting schedules than myself as well, but I think it again all comes down to balance, and what the individual's priorities are. I'm ofetn interested and wonder how long these people can this up also.

   For me to maintain my happiness, I need to be able to get my time in the gym, sleep about 7 hours per, allocate enough of my time to each of my respective endeavors to do reasonably well in each of them, maintain my JERF diet (just eat real food!), and have some quiet time at night just to read and think. It may sound like a lot, but if this is not happening, the lifestyle is not sustainable for me, as it is not conducive to my happiness and overall well being.  For some people, doing what they do well may not be a priority (unfortunately I see this alot), or a maybe they have no qualms with eating convenience "food", they workout less frequently, and the list goes on. For some of us the deal breaker maybe lack of socializing, television, and again the list goes on.

   The point is that I think it's key for all of us to periodically take the time to consider what's important in our lives and from there try to allocate our time in such a manner that we achieve what we, as individuals, believe to be balance. After we allocate time to balance our lives we have to try to remember that these activities, pursuits are important to us, or they bring us joy, or at least consider the alternative. Basically just don't lose sight of why your doing what your doing

    Also, in order to maintain the sanity, happiness, fulfillment, or  (insert whatever), I think it's important we don't lose sight of what we do because we like to versus what we do beacause we have to. Robb Wolf does a great job discussing this in the stress management portion of The Paleo Solution. He likens us to being "zoo humans". I couldn't agree more. My own thoughts, in addtion to just talking with fellow stressed out peers, friends, et cetera, kind of reaffirmed for me how many of us constantly feel the need to do things that are not actually neccessary. For example, you can study 2 hours and get a B  on an exam or study 5 hours and get an A. Its kind of like a spin on Pareto's. Our society selects the types who put in that 5 hours, but I have to wonder how admirable that really is. I know I have spent numerous hours in front of the ol' monitor that could have been spent relaxing, socializng , self educating, and so forth. For me, I find the A to be gratifying, a quantifiable means of verifying my intellligence or ability to work hard. This applies in other area of live too, needless to say.

I cant count how many days this semester I would stress about having to get my workout, rather than focusing on I get to workout, or I get to read. These are activities I like to do, but unintentionally turned them into chores. I just hope everyone reading can learn from my mistake and not make the same indiscretion. Its a privelege to spend time with family, going to work to earn money (at least in this economy anyway), gettingan education. Unfortunately we all lose sight of this sometimes. As busy as my schedule was , I know I would much rather it, than to be sitting back on my mom's couch.

   Well before I turn this into a complete vent session (hopefully I haven't done so already), I want to conclude that I am back, and I plan on posting at the minimum, weekly. In order to keep this task from becoming a chore, the length may be cut down a bit, as well as the diligance I put fourth in citing every meaningful claim/statement, but I want to continue to do this in sustainable manner that allows me to have fun while at the same put out informantion that may help others to improve their health as well. Look out for a post in the next 24 hours!

“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly – at first”....Lesson learned!

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