"Balance" is often considered to be the holy grail of a young professional's life. Whether it's "work-life balance" or eating a "balanced diet" it seems to have become yet another impossible status we have to strive for.
I'm the kind of person who finds balance hard; I'm all or nothing in a lot of areas of my life (like going from binge-drinker to tee totaler, meat-eater to vegan and novice to daily practicing, retreat frequenting yogi.) But with a 2 week, jam-packed European trip ahead of me this week, I committed my weekend to finding some balance and enjoying some calm and peace before the inevitable stress/excitement of traveling took over.
I started with sleep, going to bed at 9pm both Friday and Saturday night and sleeping an outrageous 10.5 hours both nights! I was clearly exhausted after a busy week at work of juggling multiple 'balls'. I usually go to yoga both Saturday and Sunday morning, but feeling the exhaustion set-in around mid-week I made the conscious decision to forgo early morning yoga and planned a Saturday afternoon hike with Emily instead. I felt a little guilty, but figured that finding balance sometimes means reminding yourself that one break from routine is not going to dramatically impact your overall performance, especially when you are substituting yoga with some much needed shut-eye (and I did enjoy a wonderful restorative flow at Yoga Works on Sunday evening instead).
Getting the Ferry to Angel Island for our hike, I found being in the open air and smelling the freshness of the bay was an effective way to ground myself and gain perspective. As we stood at the top of Mt Livermore looking out over SF, all my worries seemed to melt away and I felt very at peace.
On Monday, I experienced a totally different kind of fun as a group of friends and I visited the much anticipated Museum of Ice Cream in SF. The whole experience encouraged silliness - and we took this on with gusto! As a recent follower of a vegan diet, I should definitely not be eating ice-cream, however the opportunity was too good not to experience fully (and the ice cream really was delicious - especially the mochi!).
I'll always remember those few hours as being very silly and fun and a great chance to spend time with friends not worrying about anything, apart from how to mount and dismount a unicorn!
I didn't feel great that night after all the sugar and diary, mainly suffering some jitters, disjointed sleep and bad dreams, BUT it was totally worth it for all the memories and good times.