Thursday, June 12, 2008


To live a refreshed life, to reduce our risk of stress, balancing our life among these four areas is essential. However, the reality is that at any give point of time one or more of these areas will likely be receiving a disproportionate amount of our time and attention to the neglect of the three others.

A mother with a new born baby, for example will be investing her time in her new family and thinking little about her job, her sexual relationship or her personal interest in antiques. A forty year old executive who suddenly finds himself downsized out of a job will likely find the bulk of his energies flowing in that direction, but if he suffers a heart attack suddenly his own personal needs will take ascendancy over making love, finding a job or remembering to phone his sister on her birthday. Similarly a young couple in love may shut out the world and think of nothing but each other.

These and a thousand other facts of life will, must if we are living at all, keep our metaphorical table top in relative flux. However, if we have been wise and have invested the time and the energy in all of these four areas across our lifetime, then when a crisis or some other life circumstance, focuses us exclusively in one direction, the other areas of our life won't let us down. A table with only three legs won't fall and can even withstand a reasonable amount of weight over the area of the missing leg.

A strong intimate relationship can easily survive the months of abstinence required by childbirth; family and our partner will support us through job loss and illness if we've been there for them; and work, family and personal interests understand and rejoice in young love.

It is not a rigid life we seek, devoid of motion like a table bolted to the floor. We cannot live a fresh life, only a re-freshed one. The suffix "re" means "once more". We are constantly in need of "once more" balancing a life that is inevitably destabilized by the dynamic flux of growth.