Once during a yoga class the woman next to me could not maintain tree pose. She'd have it for a second but then she'd tremble and stumble precariously until both feet were on the mat. After failing a few times, she huffed loudly and our yoga instructor addressed her with the zen attitude you'd expect. "Some days it's harder to find our balance than others. Try not to get frustrated. I know you can do this pose, but it might not work for your body today."
I personally have experienced days where balancing poses seem impossible, though the day before I felt like I could have held them for hours. I think what my yoga instructor said applies not only to our physical body but to all aspects of one's self.
As a writer, mathematician, yogi, runner, homebody, lover of the outdoors, knitter, reader, dog mom, fan of silence, and music enthusiast finding a comfortable, steady equilibrium can be an intense act of juggling that frequently ends in bruises and tears.
Fortunately, my day job keeps my analytically minded needs met while writing and reading allow me an outlet for my creativity. Unfortunately, all of those activities keep my body stationary which drives me crazy. I need exercise or I'll wind up in my crankypants grumbling at the dog for doing things like wanting to be pet or panting loudly.
In his book On Writing, Stephen King recommends that writers make a point of being active. He takes a regular 4 mile walk to clear his head and work through troublesome plot points. Walking is definitely a great thing for a writer. No matter how frustrated I am at the start of a walk, after half a mile or so I feel better and it's easier to figure things out. Like Stephen King I live in New England and despite my love for watching falling snow and curling up with a cup of hot cocoa I'm not walking 4 miles in the middle of a polar vortex.
Lucky for me, I love my yoga and that can be done in the warmth of my living room anytime. I try to practice every morning. That means I usually do it at least four days a week. Four days is generally enough to keep me satisfied and the crankypants safely tucked away.
No matter how much we plan and work on it, there will always be times when we feel off balance. The important thing to remember while we wobble through the day is that finding that balance isn't a final goal that will ever be complete. It's a constant work in progress.
What do you need to stay balanced?