I'm always balancing mental, emotional and energy ledgers, attempting to keep from crashing as I pick up the curls and ride the waves of the day.
Surprise! Isn't everyone?
I'm thinking about this today as I work in the dim early morning light, that is to say, the time before the sun manages to climb over the mountains, penetrate the clouds, and squint down into the valley. Our sun's angle and winter appearances are affected by our 2,000 foot altitude and relative northern latitude, along with its position on a northern slope. I accept it. Ashland is my choice, despite its lack of ocean. I have to balance its shortcomings and advantages and accept the differences.
Weather causes daily readjustments. We had rain last night and it looks like it may rain more today - at last! Hooray! Although I prefer the sunshine, we've been worried about our water levels so rain is desirable. But with the rain, the sky is overcast and the land is dark. Awww. I turn on the lights. It's colder because of the blocked sunshine. Bummer.
Adjusting the thermostat, I contemplate the quiet, dim neighborhood where I live. Fog shrouds the surrounding undulating, fir tree covered terrain. Ashland is a pleasant small town with interesting people and reasonable costs, and it doesn't seem like it's going away soon. Hooray! I will stay here, with the chilly rain and the dark mornings because San Francisco is waaay more expensive, although Portland is very attractive....
Of course, if I lived somewhere with an ocean, there is that beautiful seascape to gaze upon and that invigorating ocean air. But there is also the ocean's effects on the weather and the local economy...home prices...the invigorating ocean air's corrosive impact on metal. It's a trade-off.
Coffee is another area of watchful balancing. Coffee and I are pretty good friends. I can drink it later in the day without too much impact on my ability to rest and sleep, except too much coffee consumed at too great a rate will result in Michael launching into hyperdrive. I don't mind being in hyperdrive but it disconcerts others. I think it's the rate of my thinking and speech. So I trade off my coffee intake to maintain a more civilized, relaxed veener.
Small work and life equations like coffee are always being balanced with my fun and aspirations equations and my emotional and social needs factors, with an eye on associated financial needs and desires. Without conscious negotiations, caps have been established on everything. I will work so many hours today and write so many hours. I will exercise, walk and eat. I will speak with my wife, feed my pets and serve their needs. Part of my equations is that I've veered into eating habits - damn those holidays - that can cause potential health and weight issues so I'm rebalancing my desire to eat pies, cookies and cashews - i.e., the broad category of stuff I call 'good food' - with my desire to lose weight and be more physically fit. Less pie, more kale; less cheese, more carrots. Less beer and more -
What? Wait. Let's talk this over. I don't drink too much beer, do I? Do I? Let's see, none yesterday. I had one glass Sunday with dinner. Did I have anything Saturday? Friday? Thursday? No, last beer previous to Sunday was Wednesday with my, um, beer drinking group, whose name and purpose make me feel a bit defensive. Before that, I last drank a beer on Monday. That is five beers in seven days. Okay, I'm comfortable with my beer balance.
My wife has decided that some sprucing up at home is required. DIY clouds of painting, touch up and small repairs are scudding over the horizon and building up into another substantial front. That means time, energy and focus must be allocated. Since those are finite items in me and my life - boy, do I wish I had unlimited energy - I need to re-balance other things that I do. In this case, the DIY needs will be carved out of my reading needs.
So it goes. Right now, I require an infusion of coffee to help rebalance my early morning energy and concentration levels. Black, please, hot and fresh, French roast. I know, maybe prefer something with a milder flavor or doctor the taste with sweeteners, milk and whiskey. I take mine black.
It's a trade off, see, a decision about what I will accept and do, and what I won't.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com