Sunday, September 01, 2013

Balancing Act

 My new Ride... a Cannondale Quick4 Hybrid

 Cape Cod Rail Trail

Out for a ride with my friend Laura on the CCRT 

Me and Chloe on one of our rides on the CCRT

Welcome to post 901 on Artistic Balance!  Where does the time go?  I have to thank everyone who has read and posted on my blog over the past 5 years.  Toady's post will be getting back to one of my original themes for this blog... balance.

I have been trying to come to grips for a long time now with how to balance the many things I like to do with having a demanding (and sometimes stressful) job.  Working in IT Management for a large health care company has its pluses and minuses The biggest downside is feeling like you are ALWAYS on call.  This has gotten better over the years as we have been able to build a strong team of IT professionals to support the company's needs, but can still be a challenge to you peace of mind.  Another thing that has gotten in the way of balance for me has been over-extending myself with my hobbies and community involvement.  I used to go on vacation and stress about not having enough time for ALL of my hobbies (kinda twisted really).  I have done two things to resolve this and feel like a new person.  First I cut back on what i expected from myself on my free time.  If i do not play my mandolin or paint on vacation so what?  I'll get to it.  A hobby is not supposed to add to your stress.  At the same time I cut back on my community stuff.  I was suffering from the same overload fatigue there as well.  I have not stopped any of them, but given myself the OK to remember I am volunteering at these things and don't need to put the weight of the world on my shoulders for that.  the second thing I did was  (while technically adding a hobby) was to remember how much I used to enjoy biking and finally broke down and bought a new bike this spring and have been using it to to de-stress and get back into shape.  At first 3 miles of riding around my town felt like a marathon, but that changes quickly when you put some miles on the bike.  I picked a Cannondale Quick4 (hybrid road bike) after several test rides at my local bike shop (Joe Fix It's).  If you are considering getting into biking I strongly recommend a good, local bike shop so you can get fitted out correctly and in most cases get a year of adjustments and tuneups included.  This week we did not get all sunshine on the cape so not everyday was a beach day, but with the company of my friends John, Laura and Chloe  I logged over a 100 miles on the Cape Cod Rail Trail this week.  It was a great way to work off some of that awesome Cape Cod seafood and see beautiful cranberry bogs and ponds you can't see from the road.  I have slowly built up mileage over the summer and it has changed my whole attitude about everything.  Today was our first day home and I put 18 miles on the bike on the Heritage Rail Trail near home.  I will take some photos of it on my next ride there... maybe tomorrow morning.  Does the riding eat into my free time?  Of course it does, but it is very enjoyable in and of itself and I find the time I spend at work and doing all of my other things (like painting and photography) are more productive because I am happier.  

So my lesson here for you all is to stop stressing.  Take a look at the things you are doing and make some adjustments if you need to.  For me increasing my exercise in a way I enjoy made everything else seem better...

I'll be working on the rest of my Cape Cod photos and doing a posts with them this week.  

Keep Makin' Art!


Dave King said...

I am taking your lesson to heart. It seems particularly apt for me at the present time. Thanks for it and and a fab' post to boot!

Carl said...

Thank you Dave.

I have a biking analogy I could have used in the post, but didn't. To fully get the most out of the ride you must change gears to suit the road conditions. I decided I could not make more hours in a day by trying to cram more stuff into it. There is only so much me and at some point I was not giving my best to anything. Thanks for taking the time to post my friend.

Rie said...

I am glad that you are finding balance. It's the best gift that you can give to yourself. If you want a biking challange, come up and ride the roads around our house. There are alot of bicyclists that use our area to train. Also, great photo-opps as well.
Nice to "see" you Dave. Hope you are feeling welll.

Carl said...

Thanks Cuz! The balance thing has always been tricky for me. I am a binary guy ( on or off ), but am starting to realize that does nobody any good after a while.

I would love to ride by you guys. Not quite sure my legs are ready for those hills yet. I am building up endurance and mileage. Hopefully in the spring I'll be zipping around your hills. Right now I am just enjoying riding again.