I teach yoga. During class we always do at least one, and sometimes several, balancing poses. I remind the students that each pose is a process and a journey. We search for balance throughout the body. Balance is not a competition. Strength and balance are increased by working on them. We strive for balance in our body, and balance in our life. Always adjusting a bit, understanding that it will be better on some days than others, but balance is improved by working on it.
I am really good at finding a balance in my life, and then adding three or four projects, responsibilities, or commitments into the mix. Then I either have to pull out of something I committed to - and I detest being flaky!! - or, usually, I just cause myself lots of stress and grief, and let other things that are important to me fall apart (ie. personal time, time with the kids, house cleaning, etc.) So, I just did it again. I thought I could take 8 credits this fall and make it work. It would be great! I could finish off the nursing school pre-requisites in one final fell swoop, get on the waiting list, and feel great about my accomplishments. Unfortunately, physiology was one of those classes. The first day of class my professor informed us that her class would take a large amount of time, and if anyone was taking any other challenging courses or had big time commitments, they could be in trouble. At the end of class, every day, she reminded us that she would keep moving fast through the information, and that we needed to be spending lots of time with the subject. I sat there, and wondered WHEN I wouldn't have other big time commitments! I dug in and studied. I worked 35-40 hours a week, for 2 1/2 weeks, on that class, squeezing in a bit of biology work along the way. Then I took my first test. I bombed it!!! Miserably!!! When all was said and done, and the curve applied, the test score was probably decent. But I realized that my life was completely out of balance. I didn't want to study full time for a 4 credit class, to the complete exclusion of everything else. I dropped it the very day after my test. I was still in the window of time where I could get a full refund and pull out without getting a "W". Am I a quitter? Did I fail? Should I feel ashamed? In fact, I feel wonderful. More balanced. I think I lost 10 pounds of stress (Now why doesn't that show up missing on the scale??). I can take biology this semester - I just did great on my first test today - and physiology next semester from a different professor. What's the rush?