Wednesday, May 05, 2010

balance: hope or hype?

living in tree pose
there is so much talk about balance these days that its definition has become somewhat diluted. balanced living, balanced eating, balanced goal-setting, balanced time-management . . . and yet at one time, the term was applied mostly to checkbooks and politics!

that said, i love the concept. (big surprise, huh?). and i really enjoyed this post from zen habits (written by a guest blogger from balance in me) that was up yesterday.

in brief, the 5 essential habits for balance outlined include:

awareness and mindfulness. my favorite quote from the post was, "a mindful person lives in the present and does not get obsessed with the future or the past." so hard to do, but worth working on it every day in my opinion.

appreciation of your body. i am glad the author chose to put this so high on the list! she writes, "your body is the tool that lets you experience so many wonderful moments in life and you ned to do your best when taking care of it."

creativity. sometimes i think that lack of creativity is what makes life as a resident hard - you just feel like you are following orders, protocols, etc. i like this reminder that taking the time and energy to think for yourself (and perhaps outside the box) might yield great benefits for the patients AND ourselves.

patience. TOTALLY agree! although i feel that the corollary of patience is allowing for enough time to do things. another gem of a quote: "with patience you can see results in all your endeavors and you do not have to spend the precious time of your life getting mad or infuriated."

simplicity. ie, taking out things in life that are neither productive nor enjoyable (watching mindless TV is the example the author gives). this is something i haven't thought as much about.

any habits that you would add to the list? i would probably add kindness (and yes, that comes straight out of the HP!). i think that being nice is high up there in contributors to a balanced (and happy!) life. that doesn't always mean that in my everyday life i'm a shoo-in for the title of little miss pollyanna -- far from it, actually. but perhaps i should aspire to get a bit closer to this ideal.

the laptop lunchbox
almost every time i post a picture of this lunchbox, someone wants to know where to get one! i think i typically answer in the comments, but just in case, here's a more complete answer.

the set comes from, which has its own online shop. their products can also be found in select stores -- in the triangle, i know that twig carries them (right next to whole foods!).

my set is the original bento, and i use the insulated sleeve to keep things cold. it works quite well and i haven't had too many issues with spillage. my only gripe is that i wish i could throw the sleeve in the laundry, but i don't think it would survive. i do wipe it clean but would love to get it a bit more sterile.

the original set (shown above) has been discontinued, but is still available on sale here.

if you get one, let me know how you like it!!

and now, for call #3/7
may it be filled with balance as detailed above!



workout: 5 miles before work on the TM. 0.5% incline. 9:13/mi for the first mile, 8:35/mi for the next three, and then 9:13/mi for the last one. of note, this was on the 'hard' treadmill which feels way faster than the one at my gym (or even outside).

clean and not so clean: dinner was right out of clean eating magazine!

pan-seared trout with caper-herb sauce, sweet potato, roasted asparagus

but my pre-dinner (ie, eat/drink while cooking because i was totally ravenous and just REALLY wanted a post-work beer) snack was not.

oh well -- all about balance, right?


  1. This kind of falls under taking care of your body, but I'd add rest to the list. It seems like we get messages that if we aren't giving 100% 100% of the time we are failing ourselves, but the truth is that is not the path to happiness.

  2. but...but...mindless tv is enjoyable! LOL I agree that taking out things that are neither productive or enjoyable is key to balance: saying NO. Hard but important.

  3. That's interesting, I was going to suggest compassion, which is pretty similar to kindness. I would never say you have to like everyone you meet, but life gets a lot easier when you try to understand and accept the reasons people act the way they do. It's the whole "mile in someone's shoes" theory.

  4. i think confidence should be added to that list. when i'm not confident in myself or anything then my life balance gets soooo skewed. that might fall under awareness though...

    and a post-work beer? absolutely necessary sometimes :)

  5. I would add time management to the list - I think I'm able to have so much more balance in my life because I manage my projects and daily time so well.

    I love it when you post about mindfulness, that is a topic that I'm really drawn to at this stage in my life as well.

  6. atilla11:10 PM

    dinner looks great I'll bet the sauce on the fish was good