Balance in the In-Between

The voice of a dear yoga teacher echoes in my head: “It is easy to maintain your balance in the pose. The hard part is to stay balanced when moving from one pose to another.” Real life often evidences itself on the yoga mat, and life transitions are not my favorite events. Thus, unsurprisingly, I frequently rushed the transitions between poses in yoga class. As my legs, torso, and arms whipped about, my teacher would call out my name to remind me to pay attention and find my balance in between poses.

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The Problem with “Work-Life Balance”

I wish the word “balance” made me think about about gaining proprioception, philosophical arguments or seeking inner peace. But I am a mother, so the only kind of balance there is any room for me to consider is how I share my energy with the people who depend on me.

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Balancing Parenting with Medicine

I still recall fond memories of when I, a busy, young cardiologist, was invited to teach my daughter’s kindergarten class. These eager, young learners were enthralled when they first heard their own hearts go “lub-dub” using my stethoscope. It was also heartwarming to see the excitement in their eyes as they watched a portable blood pressure gauge pulsating with each heartbeat as I demonstrated how to check a blood pressure.

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My Medical Leave of Absence

“A blessing in disguise.” I heard that phrase many times at the height of my illness. When someone is about to die, or when the future looks bleak, it’s hard to practice that philosophy. But, for some reason, I was able to. I kept my doctor’s appointments. I followed my treatment regimen. I heeded the advice to take my mind off my work in medicine. I took things one day at a time.

“One day, almost dying is going to seem like a good thing.” I didn’t care how unlikely that sounded. I believed it.

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A Tightrope Life

Now a retired seventy-five-year-old woman, I thought that finding balance would be easy after spending many years juggling my life as a single mother to a son and daughter, as a teacher of middle school students and then a consultant at a local university’s Writing Center, and eventually as the caregiver for my two elderly parents. I was wrong.

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March More Voices: Finding Balance

Dear Pulse readers,

When our daughters were little, I would head home from my workday thinking, Now I can finally relax.

Of course, once I got home, any notion of relaxation took a back seat to my second job, which involved game playing, food dispensing, story reading, diaper changing, song inventing and rule enforcing. There was often great joy in these activities–and, to be honest, some boredom and fatigue as well.

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