As we end the second week of the #BOSUStrong challenge, I’m filled with reflection on the theme we’ve talked about: balance.
There’s the pure physical element of balance, which I of course love. Balance is a huge part of our every day lives: to work on handstands and forearmstands, to #stopdropandyoga on hikes and runs and everywhere else, to essentially just make it around on two feet (or two hands 😉 ) half the time. Balance is incorporated in pretty much every physical exertion.
But let’s get into the other side of balance. The idea of balance in your life. In high school I was really goal-oriented on studying hard and getting in to Chapel Hill. Done. In college I was really goal-oriented on working to get into law school. I interned at different firms every year, sometimes multiple at a time. I was on the dean’s list, had two majors and a minor, was part of a pre-law frat, was researching law schools… I was on the right(?) track. When I couldn’t find an internship for the summer before my senior year beyond a week-long shadowing of an immigration attorney at a huge firm in Atlanta (this was post-recession when all the college grads that couldn’t find jobs and went to law school were interning and trying to find jobs), I took a NOLS course. For a month I lived in the woods. I hiked up mountain peaks with a 45-pound pack on my back with all my food and gear I needed for 18 days, and paddled on a river for 10 days. I had two pairs of underwear and three shirts, no facial cleanser or tweezers or razor or mascara, no coffee shop with foamy lattes, no Facebook (this was pre-Instagram, but I totally would have missed that too!). I had no deodorant. Or wine. Or toilet paper. For a month. And I had the absolute time of my life!
After returning to the “real” world, and shadowing that attorney for a week with my epic Chaco tan still gracing my feet, I started to doubt my path. Did I really want to be a lawyer? I was on the track for three hard years at law school followed by grueling hours as an associate at a firm, assuming I would have been able to find a job in a saturated field. My hippie-lawyer father convinced me to take some time off, and not by interning at another firm like I’d been planning. But to move out West and ski and travel and live. Though living in a ski town and working in the tourism industry wasn’t sustainable for me forever, it taught me something very important. The idea of working to live rather than living to work (also the lifestyle I love and appreciate in the locals in Costa Rica). I worked hard, and at multiple jobs, but I had time almost every day to do something active outside, to have wine with friends, to take epic vacations.
People ask me about my thoughts on law school now. Well… It’s been 4 and a half years since I graduated from college, and law school is NOT on the horizon. (And a lot of lawyers cheer me when I say that!) I’ve talked through many of the motivators for successful lawyers to go through the hells of law school and long hours of being firm newbies, and I don’t really have any of them. I would have been a good lawyer, but… My years in Colorado taught me that I value a balanced (and fit) lifestyle. I want to work hard and make money, but not if it means not seeing the light of day for days at a time. I want to enjoy my work, but to have passions outside of the office. I want to have the balance between finding success in a career field, but also living my life to the absolute fullest! To not look back and wish I hadn’t wasted years of my life under fluorescent lighting for a job I wasn’t passionate about.
The thing about balance, much like the Scales of Justice symbol of the law, is that there’s a fine line on which you’re always teeter-tottering. Fitness is super important to me, and a huge counter to sitting behind my computer for hours at a time. But I also have a tendency to being too active and too hard on my body. Rest days and self-care have become a huge part of my routine. Well, I’m trying hard for them to be. Time with friends, eating, drinking, hiking, shooting the shit, is a major part of my life. But I need to remember to have “me” time. To have quiet time in my space reading, doodling, blogging, watching movies, or even hitting the trails by myself.
I want to do all the things all the time! And I think it’s totally doable. But it’s all about the balance. You make your decision, deal with a little natural “what if” doubt, and then enjoy where you’re at!