Thursday, August 6, 2015

Balancing Act...

Do you struggle with balance in your life when it comes to work and play?

Does work take precedence over play or free time?

How do you handle life's demands?

Do you push yourself or do you take it slow and easy?

Do you set aside specific time for play?

Have you achieved a healthy balancing act?

(Emma Bridgewater mug and tray)

Today I am taking a day off...(from the garden)
my body aches from the constant digging while ridding the garden of invasive weeds.

I slept like a baby last night and did not want to get up this morning...
"bone weary" might be the term that one could use to describe how I feel.

I'm looking forward to having lunch out with Mother and my cousin who is visiting from the mainland.
Mom and I will do a few errands after lunch but nothing that requires much effort.

The garden can wait...
it will still be there tomorrow morning bright and early waiting for some more attention.

This lovely book on French lifestyle is worth reading.
I like to pick it up every so often and re-read some of the chapters as it helps to remind me to slow down and savour life.
The recipes are simple, elegant and healthy.
 Tasty dishes I am pleased to serve when entertaining friends and family.
Reading about the French and France is like taking a mini holiday...
one can so easily get "lost" in the pages.

I love David Lebovitz's new cookbook.
His recipes are easy to follow and the illustrations are so inspiring.
I follow his blog.

Speaking of French books...
This juicy little novella is a quick read if you are looking for something that you can pick up and put down and not lose track of the story line.
Perfect for coffee breaks at work!

Well my "break" is over and I am going to "get a few things done" before picking up Mother.

"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony."
 ~Thomas Merton ~

Enjoy your day!


  1. I do a pretty good job with balance I think. The kind of work I do makes it easy. There are no ongoing projects to worry about nor deadlines hanging over my shoulders. Hairstylists have the highest rate of job satisfaction and I think it makes perfect sense. We laugh all day and make people feel beautiful...then turn off the lights and walk out with little stress. I think that makes clicking into "off" mode much easier. My sister has a much more demanding job that never quite ends. Always another email to answer or fire to be put out. She hardly knows what to do with a day off! Enjoy your day off! How helpful to keep those books around to inspire you when you need a dose.

    1. I adore my hairdresser and we have a lot in my humble opinion, hairdressers are right up there with doctors. She and I can chat about anything and we both LOVE Paris, fabulous food, cooking, fashion and our families and we go out to dinner every so often's a wonderful thing that hairdressers do...they make us feel so much more beautiful.
      You have not mentioned what your sister does for a living but it sounds like it's more than a full time job. My husband has a stressful job too and it takes him awhile to unwind when we take holidays....that's why our boat is so important...he sleeps better when we are onboard and he relaxes much more quickly.
      Dogs are great life "balancers" too...the love they give is unconditional and you can just feel your blood pressure dropping when they nuzzle up against you!
      Hugs to Barbie.

    2. My sister is my landlord at the salon! she runs the family business and thank goodness it is a very, very full job. My parents, sister, and I all work in the same building. My parents and sister work together while I run my own operation under the same roof. My mom's office is right across from my salon. But my sister also sings in a band here in Columbus. She works more hours in a week with the band (her second job!) than I do in the salon. She does very well but has little time. We always say we wish we could meld our personalities into one balanced person. I never sacrifice my leisure time :) as I'm sure you feel as a teacher, when your job is to give a lot of yourself to your clients/students-it's important to stay fresh and inspired.

  2. Hmmm, I thought I commented but Blogger seems not to agree. Just said that I'm glad you're giving yourself a break as your gardening labour was exhausting me, even secondhand!

    1. I can see why you'd say has been a marathon!

  3. I now find that scheduling myself a break, every day, from whatever I have queued up to get done, is imperative!

  4. I need a lot of reading time and thinking time. House cleaning and laundry take a couple hours of each day but time with friends and my mother are scheduled throughout the week. You might enjoy the book that I am reading right now:The Woman in the Photograph, set in Paris in the 1920's.

    1. Knowing what you need to keep a balance is vital...oh and another book recommendation! Merci Madame!

  5. From Margie in Toronto - I used to be terrible at the balancing act - it took me many years but I seem to be doing much better now. My current job is busy but I come in at 8:15am and I leave at 4:15pm and I'm home by 5pm. I try to do a bit of housework and laundry during the week so that the weekend is either completely free or I get up, do an hour of work or grocery shopping and then I'm free.
    I make plans with friends and rarely say NO to some fun time - but I also plan time to myself as I need it in order to recharge the batteries. I know myself a lot better now and what is important to me. Everyone has certain obligations to meet but I no longer do things only out of obligation or worse, out of guilt.

    Thank you for the book recommendations - I love David's blog and own a few of his books - I'll have to check out some of the others.

  6. Balancing my life sometimes means asking for help when I need it. I've become less shy about that as I get older.

    Mme Mère had "une main verte," which is the French expression for a green thumb. I did not inherit her ability w/flowers and plants. You may remember, Leslie, that I was concerned about one of my cats not doing very well. We lost him two weeks ago. I'm just devastated. He was such a sweet little man. Yesterday, I planted wild flowers in the corner of our garden in his honor. I hope they will bloom.

    All my best,

    1. I am saddened to read about the demise of your's a terrible time when we have to say goodbye to our beloved pets. I hope those wildflowers thrive and bloom.
      Take care and be kind and gentle to yourself in this time of fragility...

  7. Glad to hear that you're taking a day off. It looks like you've been doing some really heavy- duty gardening lately. Your garden pictures are always so gorgeous but I know that takes a lot of work. I love David Lebovitz's books. My favorite recipe ( so far) in My Paris Kitchen is the one for French Lentil Salad. If you like lentils, be sure and try it.

    1. Hi Charlene,
      Welcome! I am not sure if you have commented here on my blog before...I love the name Charlene so you'd think I would remember.
      I haven't tried that recipe yet...and I do like lentils.
      I love grilled salmon atop French lentils...

  8. Oh boy, oh boy, what a load of important questions you ask. Although I always try to strike a balance, because of my life in two countries, I often fail miserably. There's so much to do for the short months that I'm in each that I often push myself past reasonable work amounts to over-doing it and then suffer what Robert calls "the two day rule" where I crash on the second day after a day of over-working. But then Robert is wonderfully attentive, knows me, and can easily sense when I'm a total gonner, and (lovingly) orders me to have a rest.

    He's just read this and pointed out that I haven't actually answered any of your questions, and I said, "It's OK, hostess is on the West Coast, she'll know exactly what I'm talking about." :D Hope you had a wonderful day out with your mother. I miss mine when I'm in E.

    1. I totally understand!
      Do you think it is because we are passionate about what we do?
      I think we lose ourselves in the process and forget to stop and take a break and reassess how we are feeling...and by the time we are fatigued it is too late!!
      Mother is doing well...the weather is a bit cooler so she can venture out and about a bit more now...the heat was really tiring her out. I am so grateful that she lives so close to us and we had a fun day! Thank you!!

  9. You're so right. We all need to listen to our bodies and souls. Take some time to smell those David Austins. I'm reading "The Red Notebook" right now. Enjoying it also.