In hindsight it seems like an interesting word that I was drawn to late last year. In essence it seems simple. Re-balance. Balance again or restore to the correct balance. Right? Sounds simple. Move a few things around to shift the load so to speak.
It hit me big time where I needed to shift that load. I blogged about what a fabulous time we had on our pick-your-adventure day What I didn’t talk about was the number of times I fell into deep snow and could not get myself sorted out. I lacked core and leg strength. It was obvious that unless I want to ski green groomers for the rest of my days I needed to do something about this. Don’t get me wrong – groomers are ok at the end of the day but I want to be able to push myself and I was dismayed to think that I was already going “down hill” at 61. I came home and gave myself an a great big fat f and knew I was starting from the bottom. Only way to go was up.
And then boom. The pandemic had hit Canada and we were in lockdown. Which for me helped tremendously with the “let’s focus on fitness” aspect. My usual excuse “I don’t have time” did not ring true at all. So I would get up, put on my work out clothes and hit the bike; varying lengths and intensities. Then I finally mastered the remote control and found YouTube (where cool young people turn to learn things) and found the “HasFit Tribe” beginner weight training and started doing that 3 days a week. All of a sudden I was doing weights (let’s not get too carried away people with excitement as this was 8 pounds per hand) 6 days a week and my shoulders were starting to complain. Ah yes rebalance and find the sweet spot. I have a smart smart friend who asked me to go for a “jog” in 1977 and I thought she was insane but I went. She never quit and she added all sorts of other stuff in over the years. She is amazing and exercise has kept her balanced over the years despite some very difficult times. I turned to P and she is helping me sort out what a balanced fitness program looks like for me. Biking, walking, snow shoeing, weights and stretching (alas no swimming because hey it’s 2020) have become the normal for me this year. I’ve really focused on bringing myself back to a reasonable level for 61 and I can feel the results. As an added bonus I have dropped 25 pounds although I am already struggling to maintain keeping it off so will become more diligent about choices again.
For me the pandemic lock down allowed a taste of full retirement and I found time to work on a variety of projects without getting overwhelmed by other deadlines. I had no volunteer projects or meetings to attend to. I had no friend lunches, little time in the city for errands, walks with friends or playground time with my Littles . I grew to fully embrace the rural life and lean into the peace and quiet of the countryside. I have always appreciated that we are fortunate to have built ourselves this little bit of paradise (well to us – I know it’s not what everyone would call paradise) and it has allowed us to see the pandemic through comfortably. It has allowed me a chance to restore to a correct posture many things.
Around the time I went back full time (2003) and our kids moved away from home I quit baking 6 loaves of 60% bread every week as it was not getting consumed. Fast forward to the pandemic – yes I was one of those. I tried the sour dough thing but it wasn’t for me but I did find my “jam” so to speak. My other half loves French bread grilled cheese sandwiches so I, with a great recipe from a close friend, have finally mastered French Bread. On my birthday wish list in a french loaf pan so I can return my daughter’s. My favourite bread is an alpine type whole wheat loaf and I found a great recipe in the Canadian cookbook called “Feast” for just such a loaf. I seem to be getting fairly good results as per that type of bread it’s hard to get a great rise but I am pretty pleased with it most days. During the yeast crisis another close friend shared the 1/4 tsp yeast no kneed bread recipe and it is also a winner. So yes I was one of those people that sucked up the yeast during the pandemic but to be honest I actually had it in my freezer and didn’t run out till summer when it was stocked again.
I didn’t get on the clean craze though as so many did during the pandemic but I did do a lot of reorganizing. Which really is a re balance of items in our possession. The storage room, our closet and the attic craft space got done but we’ve yet to tackle the garage or the loft. That’s one of those – Rome wasn’t built in a day – let’s do it later when it is warmer – items.
I have referred back to my “master lists” because yes again I am one of those people who have a list. I want to keep learning to keep the brain healthy and the days fulfilling. Does this help me re balance? One of my reference lists is well written up here in Younger-next-year. The two authors talk about commitment as one of the six cornerstones.
While I did not indeed volunteer this year in the usual sence of the word I did spent a lot of time giving of myself. It was just in a more personal format where I helped, by virtue of friendship and knowledge, to support a number of friends who were having difficult years. Made worse by the pandemic but not from the actual virus. This was my way to give back this year; that and providing messages of support to all my front line friends and colleagues.
Which brings me back to Covid19 and rebalancing. Unfortunately so many individuals and families have been unbalanced by the death tolls (Saskatchewan, Canadian and world wide) and the economic impacts. This weighs heavily on my mind and yet I know that I can only control my choices.
I’ve written a significant numbers of blogs this year about choices and the challenges that 2020 has forced us all to encounter. On a smaller personal scale I can say that I was able to rebalance and the words below resonate with me still. May we all heal, grieve, grow and re balance.