Some Balance

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein

With this quote in mind, I got up from my desk, put on my walking shoes, and stepped out into the sunshine for a l-o-n-g overdue walk. Of course it helped that the air outside was a balmy sixty degrees. Yes, sixty degrees can be balmy when you are at the end of January and the usual temperature is in the forties.

I hate to admit it but it’s been at least three months since I’ve taken a long walk. I do have valid excuses:

  • I was busy preparing material for work.
  • I didn’t have enough preparation time between days in schools.
  • It was cold.
  • It was rainy.
  • It was really windy and cold.
  • I was tired.
  • It was too dark outside.

Today it wasn’t dark or rainy or cold, but it was a little windy. I do have to prepare for work, but when I considered my One Little Word (balance), I knew I had to move. This word has been riding on my shoulder whispering in my ear, “How balanced was your day?”

Okay, you are right, not everything is balanced but I did better today than yesterday. Each day there is a small shift in the way I live. Slowly, the new ways will replace the bad habits of past.

Today I walked. Tomorrow I plan to walk, and the next day and . . .

Now, I need to walk with a notebook. I see something and immediately start thinking how can I bring this to life with my words? Then when I get home, I sit ready to write and the words have evaporated. My purse notebook will now be in my pocket when I set out, perhaps these words will not disappear, but they will become the fodder for my next Slice of Life.

March is approaching, and I wonder will I have something to say every day? I better keep moving to keep my balance.

Searching

Have you ever seen a picture or read a review of something and it stuck in your mind like a little seed waiting to sprout? Every now and then you think about it and you want the item, but time passes and you forget that you wanted it . . .  until something comes along to remind you of this thing.

This is the story of the search for a cinnamon roll.

As we are watching the Today show, the rumbling from deep in the stomach begins on a dreary, dark, morning. My husband announces, “I’m hungry. I will go and get cinnamon rolls. I don’t need it but that’s what sounds good right now.”

Sidebar explanation: Recently a local magazine listed the five best cinnamon rolls in town. The number one roll is at a bakery downtown that has very select hours. We have tried to sample their rolls before, but with no luck. This is the seed that has been planted in my husband’s mind. It has been growing and festering ever since he saw that article.

Back to the present: Off he goes to get this elusive cinnamon roll. I continue to watch the Today show, sipping my coffee. Soon my phone is ringing, it’s my husband, “Are you sure this is the place? They don’t open until eight.” (it was 7:55)

“I think you are at the right place, let me check the magazine.” Quickly I find the correct issue and yes, I can verify he is at the right place. “Well, you only have five minutes to wait,” I say encouragingly as I anticipate the giant roll in my future.

8:02 my phone rings again, (I think I may have to decide on a frosting flavor. I will go with vanilla.) “They stopped making cinnamon rolls on the 17th except for special orders,” the disappointed voice says.

“Okay, well let’s try another another one. Elle’s Patisserie is on Cherry Street (not too far from where he is), go there,” I reply.

“I’m going to Artisan Ovens, I know where that one is,” he tells me tossing aside my suggestion. I remind him that bakery is on the other side of town, and Elle’s is closer. No, that is not what he wants to do. So, he is off and heading to Artisan Ovens. I decide this would be a good time to fit in my shower before he arrives home with the goodies. Once I am back on the couch I check my phone and there is a missed call. Guess who. I call back.

“They don’t open until nine (it was 8:30 when he called) so I am on my way to Cherry Street. These had better be good!”

I make more coffee and shortly after nine the car pulls into the garage. The bag is dropped on the counter by someone wearing a frustrated look.

After an hour and a half journey, we warmed the roll and enjoyed it with a cup of fresh coffee. Just what you need on a dreary dark morning.

Sidebar funny: I was in the Artisan Ovens later that morning, and guess what . . . they didn’t have any cinnamon rolls. They only make them on Wednesday and Saturday. :)

Where’s the Hot Water?

You must step into the shower, close the door, and huddle against the left side as you reach out with your right arm to turn the water on. Within five seconds the water will be hot and you can adjust it to a comfortable temperature. We have recirculating hot water because this location is so far away from the hot water heater. The convenience is so nice. Once in a while the timer gets off you find yourself waiting an eternity for hot water. Fortunately that doesn’t happen often.

On this day, the water spraying down on me was warm-ish. I waited another minute, thinking it will warm up, but it stayed the same, warm-ish. Thoughts of hot water heater going out jumped into my mind. Panic is beginning to set in. I hate dealing with plumbing issues! What should I do? Do I turn off the water and relay this news to my husband now or finish my shower? Will the warm-ish water last through hair washing?

I decide to take a chance that my water won’t get colder and complete this shower, including hair washing. The water temperature has not dropped, as I suds at warp speed. I think, this is the temperature I would like if it were a hot summer day and I had been doing something strenuous. This would cool me down. However, it is a cool winter day and as I finish, I am shivering. I even used the hair dryer down my back to warm me up!

Now, I must say something to my husband about this problem I have discovered. He also, does not like dealing with plumbing issues. “I think there may be something wrong with the hot water heater because the water was tepid when I took my shower.”

“Maybe not,” he replies,  “I put an insulation blanket on the hot water heater yesterday, so maybe I bumped the timer. I tried to be really careful.”

I go out to the furnace closet in the garage, which is where the hot water heater is to check. I check the timer dial. No, it is set right. Now I am starting to worry, but I remember the temperature dial is on the outside of the hot water tank. I uncover part of the insulation blanket and discover the dial has been turned down to warm. Usually it is half way to hot. There is the reason I shivered my way through a shower! I turned the dial, and immediately I hear the whoosh sound of it igniting. Oh, what a wonderful sound! Relief warms me as return to report my findings. Thank goodness the problem was solved easily this time. But what about the next time?

Blogging on the Road

Christmas was spent with family in California. It was a wonderful week being a part of my son’s and his family’s busy life. But once again reality creeps back into life and we must head for home where life isn’t quite so enchanting. Work and chores await us and they can’t be ignored.

Once again, we rise long before the sun to get a jump on the many miles that face us. But before leaving, I quickly posted my slice of life, after all it is Tuesday. Last year I described this time of day (you can refresh your memory here). Today we sailed through the multitude of stoplights, not a red light to be seen. That was a first!

I settled back into my seat, with comforter over me and seat warmer on high to try to doze through this urban drive. I guess I succeeded, because I was surprised to learn that we were already in Barstow. With gas in the tank and coffee in hand, we were back on the road ready to head across the desert. The miles stretching endlessly before me, what to do? A quick check of email on my phone reveals a comment from my slice. Yeah!

Can I actually read SOL and comment as we drive? I have never tried this from my phone, but it should work and I have nothing but time. So I begin the process of accessing TWT, clicking on comments, reading slices, and commenting. I won’t say it was quick. I won’t say there weren’t frustrating moments (especially when trying to put in the odd word for the spam detector). But I will say, I was in awe of the technology that allowed me to do this. How amazing is it to be driving across the country and be able to read blogs posted from as far away as Estonia and other points of the world?

So here’s how my fourteen hours in the car were spent. I would read blogs and comment for a while. Then I would read a professional book. Check email looking for comments. Read a few more blogs, adding comments. Play solitaire,  Word Warp, or Angry Birds on the iPad. Read The Secret Garden on the iPad. Back to the phone for SOL, plus throw in a little texting. I don’t think I ever used my phone to actually talk to someone all day long. I did have to drive for several hours while my husband napped. But as soon as he was back in the driver’s seat, I continued to entertain myself with reading books, phone, or iPad. What a change in the world! The days of looking out the window for endless hours are gone. I don’t know if that makes me happy or just a little bit sad. Hmmmm . . .

Balance


One Little Word has intrigued me for several years as I’ve read about the words chosen by those who post on TWT and how it affects their lives. I’ve mentally played with the idea, but never could think of a word that seemed just right. Besides, I thought, how would this fit into my life? Now that I have been blogging for almost a year (this is #78, I can’t believe this!), I can see how to use that word to guide some of my writing and perhaps even my life.

I decided that my life has felt out of balance this fall. Too much of this and not enough of that. So I will strive to find a balance in my life for the next twelve months. I’ve made a list of some areas that need balance.

Time:

Leisure – Work

Reading for pleasure – Reading for professional reasons (although this can be a pleasure)

Exercise – Lazing about (or working)

Food Choices:

Healthy – Indulgent (translates to yum!)

Shopping:

Purchase – Save

Own (as in books) – Borrow (from the library)

Writing it down is the easy part. Now I must continue to hold this word in my life and live it. Each day I need to ask myself, “Are you living a balanced life?” It is up to me to be sure I can say, “Yes!”