I hope each of you has had an opportunity to enjoy some time way from "work.” It’s important that we recharge our batteries in preparation for the 2016-2017 school year. I’m sure it seems like yesterday that the students completed their school year. Why is it that at times the school year feels like it’s going slowly, and the summer ALWAYS seems to fly? Take the time to enjoy your family, and friends!
As you move toward August and the 2016-2017 school year, commit to finding more balance in your life. I know that as dedicated professionals, you spend countless hours working on behalf of the students and staff in your district. Jonathan Lockwood Huie, in an article entitled Finding Balance in Life Beats Moderation, Eight Ways to Balance Your Life, suggests ways to achieve balance.
- Balance activity with serenity. Exercise and rest are both essential to a healthy and joyful life.
- Balance wealth with simplicity. The best things in life truly are free, but there is also a place for material accomplishments - both for your own sake and for the sake of the world. Avoid the clutter of collecting excess possessions, but treat yourself with a few special items, trips, and other benefits of the modern world.
- Balance persistence with innovation. Albert Einstein is sometimes quoted as saying, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Practice, patience, and persistence are essential to success in life, but recognize when the time comes to stop what you are doing and to search for a different route toward your life goals.
- Balance community with solitude. Life success requires teamwork with a community of like-minded companions, yet you must also allow time for solitude - time for contemplation, time for relaxation, and time to be your own self with no pressure to conform or to please others.
- Balance familiarity with adventure. Adventure is like the seasoning on your meal - life is monotonous and boring without adventure, yet there is also a crucial place for the familiar. Physically and emotionally comfortable surroundings are essential to your wellbeing. There is no place like a comfortable home from which to launch your adventures and to which you return - either as the victorious hero or in shameless defeat, ready to recharge and set out on the next adventure.
- Balance constancy with change. Tradition lends a comforting structure to life. Imagine if at each meal you had to decide on which side of the plate to place the fork. Doing what our parents did before us and their parents did before them, creates a stability and eases the small details of life. However, constancy is also habit, and there is a time to question all old habits - perhaps consciously renewing them, but hopefully often deciding to make new choices.
- Balance leading with following. There are times to follow, but also times to raise your own torch and lead, as well as times to choose to disengage. Life is too short to fight all the battles. Choose your causes wisely, and then choose whether you need to become a leader of the cause.
- Balance being of service - both to this generation and to generations yet unborn - with renewing your vitality by play and celebration. A life without service is not likely to be fulfilling, but you must charge your own batteries - physical, mental, and emotional - before you can inspire, motivate, and serve others.
It might be worth your time to think about these eight ways and to work to implement them. I hope you are successful this year in bringing more balance to your life!