Finding Your Healthy Mean

As you reflect upon how you are living your life, what is your “healthy mean”? In other words, how would you define the ideal balance in your life, given the realities you currently face? What I’m suggesting is not fantasy play—not “pretend to envision your life as a rock star”—that isn’t what I’m getting at; rather, this exercise is more aligned with the concept of fulfilling your responsibilities without them overwhelming your ability to be you. Alas, we all know people whose personal identity has sunk to the bottom of the pool while they scramble to fulfill their roles as caretakers, professionals, or some other, outer-directed persona. The dissonance so many adults experience in their lives stems, in large measure, from such an imbalance. “I don’t know who I am anymore,” they think to themselves. “How did my life get to be like this? Where’s the joy I used to feel?” So, to make this extra clear, what I want you to think about is given who you are today, given the activities and people and responsibilities that are a part of your life, what is the combination that would provide you the greatest amount of personal fulfillment and time to enjoy you being you?

This is a trick(y) question, so think carefully.

How far from this ideal are you? An important point I want to make is that as much as our responsibilities use up many of our hours and can present real and difficult problems that must be solved, there still remains time and opportunity for us to pursue our personal interests and passions. This premise is not always so obvious when we get lost in the complicated realities that many of us live. When I ask myself this question, I know that I am way off balance from my ideal, in many important (but not all) parts of my life. Struggling to find employment and establish a fulfilling life here in Washington is a lot harder than I had expected it to be. Doing whatever it is I need to be doing to kickstart this blog or my writing career is not so obvious, and I occasionally get distracted by wondering if I should be doing something else, entirely. I confuse myself with doubts and an occasional flash of shame that I should be accomplishing a lot more than I have.

I offer myself up merely as an example of a re-booter struggling to reach their healthy mean. It is irrelevant how different your life and healthy mean are from mine, the theme for today is to focus on what your healthy mean looks like. How can you be you and still satisfy your obligations? We’re not shooting for perfection here, folks; we’re not asking that each and everyday be filled with champagne kisses and caviar dreams, but what we are aspiring to is a life where you can go to bed each night with a solid “knowing” that, overall, you’re where you need to be, that your life makes sense.

An ongoing theme here at Dignitary’s Retreat (oooh, “The DR is in” I just thought of that!) is examining the re-booter’s struggle to recognize life imbalance—however it manifests—and then go about righting the scales. And, while much of what we ponder involves shifting our perspective on how we think about things, there remains the real requirement that a certain amount of active change may be necessary—how we spend our time, what activities we engage in, etc all of which needs to reflect accurately who we are, today. You wouldn’t be reading this blog if you didn’t struggle with this yourself, and thank goodness you have sufficient awareness to do so! Do you realize just how many more people out there are drowning in lives they’d just as soon not lead? And how alone they feel? Not you! Because we have a community of Re-booters right here, who take comfort and strength in knowing we’re not alone, but that still doesn’t give you an excuse not to articulate for yourself what your “healthy mean” is and taking steps to get there. Baby steps. One at a time. What’s one, tiny thing you can do today? I know, I drag my feet, too.

The way forward isn’t always clear—that’s another thing Re-booters understand—heck, I have no idea what I’m doing with this blog, but it’s important to me to keep doing it. My internal voice insists upon it and when I write, time drops away. I love what I do, even if I don’t know where I’m going. It helps me keep my balance. So, what about you? What step might you take to regain your equilibrium? How might you carve out some time to pursue a passion just for you? If it helps, you can lean on my shoulder to get started.

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