Achieving Balance

Just like ours, the ancient world was filled with people who had ambitious goals and trouble prioritizing them. Seneca said it’s one of the hardest balances to strike in life. We don’t want to be the person who can never sit still. “For love of bustle is not industry, it is only the restlessness of a hunted mind.” But we also don’t want to be the person always sitting still. “True repose does not consist in condemning all motion as merely vexation,” he wrote, “that kind of repose is slackness and inertia.” The work of the philosopher, Seneca said, is finding the perfect balance of those two tendencies. It’s about working and relaxing, not working and work avoidance.

Ryan Holliday, The Daily Stoic

There is busyness, and there is just being busy. I picked this quote and started at 7 AM. It’s 7:43 PM, and I’m just getting back to it. Usually when we are at the next-to-last week of soccer season, my referee assignments are pretty much done. Not this year. The worst of my 30 years. Only partly due to Covid. But there were more schedule changes than ever.

So I woke up this morning to a couple of problems. Then a couple of phone calls. I just finished taking care of tomorrow’s games about a half-hour ago. Now, for the calming, balance of relaxation.

When I first studied Asian philosophies, I discovered the concept of balance. In India, balance is the key. Yoga teaches physical balance. Ayurveda teaches balancing tastes and emotion.

I think that if you study the life of Jesus, you’ll find he sought the balance of teaching and quiet time with God. Peter, on the other hand, had a lot of trouble finding balance for his whole life.

During my busy season–this year from the first of July until October 16–I try to build in balance every day. A week to go. So far, so good.

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