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?