I usually start off the year knowing what my word will be. But this year, nothing was coming to mind. Last year's One Word - peace - was so successful. I mean, there were definitely some failing moments, but for the most part, I experienced the most peaceful year I ever have. My anxiety was at an all time low thanks to extreme consciousness. I allowed myself a day each week to re-group, to relax and just enjoy all that life is.
But what about this year? Having (mostly) successfully found peace, what do I focus on now?
It finally came to me this morning, when I went back to my morning yoga routine now that the holidays are over and I can settle back into my "normal." I was standing there, one leg up and my arms extended above my head, when my One Word popped into my head.
Balance is what keeps the peace once you find it. It's how you take care of yourself while still taking care of everyone else. It's found in every aspect of life: nutrition, exercise, work, play, emotions, education.
By nature, I am a woman of extremes. I'm an all-or-nothin' kind of gal. Therein lies my inherent difficulty with keeping the peace I worked so hard last year to achieve. Not every aspect of my life has to be extreme. I'm the kind of person that either does something so completely and entirely that I am overly successful, or I don't do it at all. If I'm going to grow a garden, I'm going to kill myself making sure it is the biggest, best garden I've ever grown and I'm going to produce 1458 pounds of produce, dammit. If I'm going to knit a sweater, I'm not going to settle for simple, easy-to-knit garment, it's going to be the most complicated lace pattern and structural design I can find. If I'm going to feed my family healthy food, every bite of it is going to be home grown, home made, and practically gourmet in its presentation, or I'll deem myself a failure as a housewife.
Perfection has a way of eating a person away, slowly but surely, until their self confidence and self worth have dwindled down to nothing.
Balance is key. It is possible to do something and be successful without being the very best. Not every single thing I do has to be a competition with myself.
So this year, I'm going to balance my life. I'm going to give up perfectionistic extremes. I'm going to balance the time I spend caring for others with the time I spend caring for myself. I'm going to balance work with relaxation.
I'm going to keep the peace.