Friday, January 31, 2020

Balance: This is 2020

Feeling unbalanced
How is it already the last day in January? 2020 has been a whirlwind with starting a new full-time job and part-time freelance work, revising my novel, moving my son back to college, trying to keep up with my dating and social life...the list goes on. Happy New Year ! I hope yours hasn't roared in quite as fiercely as mine.

I've been trying to define my goals for the year. I even sat down and wrote myself a letter of the things I wish to accomplish in love, career, and health this year. But I've been searching for a word to use as an overall theme. A word that I can say to remind myself to stay on track if I go astray. I've struggled all month to think of this you can see above, I've been a bit busy.

Then three seemingly ordinary but actually significant events happened.

I never get postcards in the mail. Cards, yes. Letters, occasionally. But never postcards. I got two in one week from two of my illustrator friends wishing me a Happy New Year—both hand designed. The first postcard had the word "HOPE" incorporated into the art (check out @beautifullworldshop artwork on Instagram; Kerrita's designs make my heart happy!) The second postcard had an illustration of my friend, her husband, and children (check out @larissadrawsstuff on Instagram; Larissa's designs make my young self shine). Larissa addressed the postcard to the pseudonym she jokingly created for my writer persona. The words "FAMILY" and "WRITER" popped into my head.
Pondering, pondering

I mulled these words around in my head as I continued to struggle with MY word that would encompass 2020. Then yesterday, I had lunch with a colleague of mine that I hadn't seen in over five years when she left the publishing house we worked at to work at the college I started working at this month. As we updated each other on the past years of our lives, she said something like: "You're still as busy as ever. I've always envied how much you do in life." I laughed and swore I wasn't as busy as I used to be.

But as I walked through campus back to my office, the word "BUSY" bounced around my head. And then my mind quieted just before the word "BALANCE" whispered to me.

"Balance," I said out loud to absolutely no one. My word for 2020 is "BALANCE."

Diving all-in
I have always struggled with balance. When I do something, I dive all in...if I'm writing, I'm writing a novel AND a short piece of fiction on the side. If I'm running, I'm training for a marathon or an ultra marathon AND trying to strengthen my climbing ability or speed. If I'm reading a book, I read the WHOLE book in one sitting OR read multiple books at a time. If I'm watching a new show, I binge the entire Season AND have a second show I can watch on the side when I need a distraction.

Hell, I actually have trouble with my physical balance as well. You do NOT want to see me in a hot yoga class! I'm falling over with every single pose, even the seated poses.

Balance. How am I going to achieve balance in 2020? We're only 31 days in, and I'm already struggling. Deep breaths. Focus on the positive, Sera. Positives, right. I have been making small changes in my life, and although they are minor, these changes have been helping me find balance.

At a standstill brings
a different perspective
Some of these changes started last year when I lost my job. No money means saying "No" to so many things that I was involved in. No to races. No to lunches, dinners, or drinks with friends. No to driving long distances to visit people. No to everything whatsoever that cost money. Before I knew it, saying "No" became easier than ever. Having more downtime helped me rest and recover from the burnout I hadn't realized my go-go-go lifestyle had fueled.

Stopping everything for the last four months of 2019 really helped me reset in January with a clean slate. Yes, as above mentions, it's been a whirlwind of a month, but with change comes initial chaos sometimes. I'm settling into a new routine while I figure out what I want to fill my time with and how to allocate that time so I don't tilt the scales in just one direction.

I do not have all the answers about how to achieve said balance. But here are my priorities and where I want to focus my time:

  1. My Novel Revision—After being stuck for on how to fix this book for the last two years, it's all become clear! I am so happy my Muse is back.
  2. Trail Running, Mountain Climbing, and Strength Training—Being immersed in the thick of nature makes me my most happiest and truest self (yes, I know that's not grammatically correct, but in Sera World, there is "happiest" and "most happiest" haha).
  3. Clean Eating—I want to maintain eating whole foods, eating out less, and finding creative ways to make cooking fun (Whole30 blew my mind, but that's a future post).
  4. Downtime—Rest and relaxation with loved ones as well as alone-time are just as important as any other goal. I must remember that just as Rome wasn't built in a day, I do not need to finish everything at once. 
Finding balance
I've discovered that a strict routine is already helping me fit in writing time, downtime (yes, I schedule that in), and clean eating. But I still need to find a way to incorporate trail running and hiking into my weekly activities. But I'm not beating myself up about it. I'm trying to be more kind to myself (really helps with finding balance, I think), and realistically, I know that I am slightly less active during the winter. So I am taking small measures, like walking the 3/4 trek uphill to the dining hall on campus, going to the gym a couple days a week, and scheduling a hike when I can. I did sign up for Loon Mountain Race, and I can't wait to start training for it!

Balance. How did I not think of this word sooner? I've been crying about finding life balance for years. It's been in front of me all along.

Do you have any tips that help you find work-life balance? I could really use some advice! And also tell me: What's your word for 2020? Leave a comment below.

IllumiNITE Photographs by Matt Francis Photos
I'm wearing: 
Halo Unisex Knit Hat in Flo Lime
Reflective Neck Scruff in Flo Lime
Piper W Long Sleeve Reflective Tee in Flo Lime/Graphite
Comet Reflective W Running Tight in Black/Flo Lime
Use discount code Sera15 for 15% Off you entire IlumiNITE order


  1. Balance is being Stable
    Stable is being present
    Being present is challenging!

  2. Balance is a great word! Good luck with it. I have a few words: comfy with Discomfort, Essential VS Non essential, Connection. Glad my posrcard brought a smile to your face.

    1. Larissa, I think you're doing quite well with be comfortable with discomfort. I've seen you get out of your comfort zone a lot this past year! Bravo!


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