That elusive balance point

Over the last few years, I’ve discovered that I only really need two activities in my life to keep me sane; exercise and knitting. One keeps my body strong and healthy, the other, my mind.

There is an optimal level of each and sometimes, the perfect balance is elusive.

Last week, while on holiday, I had many hours in the car to spend on my knitting. I knit socks. I knit lace. I worked on a garment. Lots of time to wrap string around needles and let my thoughts drift randomly. My brain relaxed and let go of the usual minutia it likes to bandy about and stress over. Knitting does for me what yoga does for others.

However lovely it was to knit my days away, my body was missing its daily visits to the gym. My legs and lower back were achey; too much sitting in the car and sleeping poorly on soft hotel mattresses, not enough squats and lunges and dead lifts.

This week, I happily returned to work, teaching my usual five classes and eagerly volunteering to sub three extras. I trained as many clients as I could and busily taxied my children back and forth from their various summer camps. Muscles content and tired, I fell into bed each night anticipating a hard-earned slumber only to be kept awake by to-do lists and re-hashes of the day’s petty slights and disagreements.

What did I do wrong?

Not enough knitting.

Next week my work schedule is light and the children need only be taken to the pool for their mid-morning lessons. Time to fit in a run or an at-home workout before and some knitting afterwards.


It’s an elusive balance, but when I get it right, I am calm, content and unflappable.

Do you struggle with finding balance in your life?

What activities help you feel more balanced and centered?

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

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  1. I feel balanced and grounded when I get time alone, with nature, could be a hike or kayak. Pretty well
    Anything away from the car noise that follows me night and day. Being an extrovert, the opposite of the nature stuff is a loud group activity such as a step class, “water cooler” chats at work, or a stimulating team project at work.

    • Hi Bev,
      Yes, nature is a great way to offset the business of modern life. I haven’t been kayaking yet this summer. Sounds like a great idea, once the warm weather arrives!

  2. I have heard that about knitting – the therapeutic value, meditative quality. I just can’t learn the basics well enough to get to that point. For me, writing is that. It keeps me centered.

  3. It’s got to be something creative or something outside! Something which takes absolute concentration or something which completely dwarfs all the other worries in your life!

  4. I struggle with this!! Yoga helps me some and also lists…lots of lists πŸ™‚

    • Oh yeah, I am a list maker too! I don’t know what I’d do without post it notes….fortunately my sister works for 3M and I get a a whole bunch for Xmas every year!

  5. Tamara your timing is perfect! My training always includes a period of time (which happens to be right now) when my life feels so out of balance. I feel like all I ever do is run, workout and shower. I will regroup, definitely make lists and my feeling of an unbalanced life will pass, as it always does. I will find the optimal level of it all πŸ™‚

    • I’ve been known to give up on the showering to make more time…
      I figure if I’m sweaty now and going to get sweaty again later, why waste time showering and creating more laundry for myself to do… Just slap on a fresh pair of socks and undies and grab that deodorant stick!

  6. Thank you for that reminder of balance. I love that you knit. That naked-fingers glove you showed us one day lingers in my mind, as i wonder how amazing it would be to actually be able to create that. On my end, I am best when balanced between intense fitness and diligent work (and plenty of sleep.)

    • Perhaps I should do a knitting tutorial on my blog! LOL!
      I appreciate your appreciation for my art Julie, not all non knitters get it!

  7. I have REALLY struggled with the too much mentality and have only recently “got it”.

    I love my workouts….need my yoga AND my knitting and time OUTSIDE and time to MOVE…need some down time and love my family time too.

    good for you for figuring out what you need for yourself. we are all different.

    ps your sleeve (is it a sleeve??) is so pretty!!!!

    • It’s actually a sock! But could be a small child’s sleeve; the construction is similar…

      A friend of mind suggested a great book to me that speaks to the topic of too much mentalizing; it’s called The Power of Now. It’s a bit spiritual (actually, the subtitle I’d about spiritual awakening), but the author makes some great points about learning to turn off your brain and that inner monologue to increase your mindfulness. I read it and liked it so much I bought the iPad version ton listen to while I knit.

      • ohhh I’ll have to go check out that book.

        I just uploaded the Kindle App for my iPad and loaded fresh new books (free ones…:) )

        sorry….I should have figured out it was a sock….but after a second look…i COULD be a sleeve. πŸ™‚

        Happy Monday


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