I started a tradition last year on New Year’s. Each year, I choose a word, or phrase, to become that year’s theme. Last year it was “simple values”. I spent the year pursuing a life with less clutter, both mentally and physically. More on that in a post to come…

This year, my annual theme is going to be “finding balance”. All of my life, I have been somewhat of an extremist. Go big or go home. Fully “on” or fully “off”, like a light switch. Black or white in my motivation levels, but shades of grey in my thinking, which created CHAOS. What I’ve come to realize, after 32 years (on Feb 9th. Stop the clock, people. I’m starting to think I’m in the range little kids call a “grown up” and I am NOT ready…), is that life is more about balance than it is about being perfect. There is no one out there, regardless of what blog you read, what magazine articles, or what mainstream television wants to sell you, that can do it all all the time and get it right every time. Nope. It’s a big fat lie. I don’t know why we sell that thought to one another, because it creates a serious amount of stress.

Penguin Theory

I wrote the words, but the image comes from here.

My husband has a theory on brainpower that he got somewhere in his travels that he calls the penguin theory. Your brain can only do so much, right? So think of it like an iceberg inhabited by penguins. Only so many penguins fit on the iceberg at one time. When too many hop on, the iceberg either sinks or flips over. No matter what formation the birds take, there is just so much room. In this example, nature takes its course, and when too many hop on, out of preservation, a penguin or two gets booted into the water. Now here’s the thing: That penguin isn’t sent to its death. It just has to swim for a bit, until someone else hops off, and then it can get back on and take a rest.

Ok. How does this apply to my balance theme? If the flock of penguins is smart, and can get organized. Let’s call them SUPER penguins ok, genetically modified genius penguins. These penguins will figure out the priorities of the flock, and rotate the population of the iceberg accordingly, to allow for everyone to get enough rest and still accomplish the tasks of the day. In my world, this means eliminating needless or useless time-and-effort-sucking behaviors, and figuring out a way to create a life in which some of my less-immediate-or-important priorities can “swim” every once in a while, while my more important Grand Poobah Penguin priorities get my attention first. Rotate, rinse, and repeat.

This is my theme for the year. Creating balance. I don’t have to give up anything if I don’t want to. I don’t have to start anything dramatically new. I just need to prioritize and create balance. And, like my waddling penguins, I need to take baby steps to get to where I am going. Trying to run too fast toward my goals will cause me to fall down and give up, much like a penguin in a foot race. Many tiny baby steps will get me to my goals, especially if I plan them correctly… Each step takes a lot of effort, so making a plan and knowing when I’ve reached mile markers along my way will be key.

So that’s my plan. If you’re still here, thank you for reading. If you’ve been a fan for a while, thanks for hanging around. I promise to keep it real, and to post when I have something worth sharing. I won’t waste your time, and hope to entertain you when you come to visit. You’ll find some craftiness this year, some humor, and some strategies. Everything will be what works for ME… I’m not the be-all-end-all, and I know it. If you’ve got a better way, then share it… But let’s keep it positive, ok?