One of the themes I see in my blog posts from the 2004 to 2006 years, which included the time leading up to and including my divorce, was an almost relentless pursuit for balance. (It still isn't clear from reading then that I had any sort of big life issue, except when it was.) I found that my priorities and basic functioning were all out of whack. In those days, I found balance by way of coaching, being a roller coaster nerd, working (occasionally) and being social.
These days, I find that I'm not very balanced at all, and it's starting to wear on me a bit. Symptoms include anxiety, trouble sleeping, mental exhaustion and the occasional visit from IBS, something I don't get that often anymore. I can't say that I'm entirely surprised, I just think that I'm starting to realize that living in the Sunshine State alone isn't enough to keep me operating at a high level.
Alas, I can't balance things out by coaching, because the opportunity for coaching juniors volleyball here sucks. Whereas the metros in Ohio each have hundreds of high schools, we have a couple dozen. Maybe 250 kids out of 1.3 million residents play varsity volleyball, so USAV barely exists. The problem with my other hobby is that it's the same thing I do for a living, so it's hard to engage in that when much of the time I need a break from it after hours. So I've come to realize that part of my issue is that I need a new hobby, or at the very least, need to follow through on some of the other things I liked to do, but don't follow through on.
I'm also in one of my, "Hey dude, you should really take a vacation," modes. I'm going about 18 weeks between meaningful trips, and that's way too long. Me and my little family unit have our half-day trips to theme parks and such, but it's not a real vacation. I spent about 24 hours on the ground in Ohio for a roller coaster opening, without the family, and that doesn't count either. I know from experience that a solid long weekend, not more than three months apart, goes a long way to recharging, but I forget.
I realize now that the cruises we have taken are such a happy place for me because of the glorious, forced disconnection they impose. I get on a boat, someone hands me a fruity drink, and tells me where to eat, and I can completely switch off. That is so far from daily life that it pulls me the other way, into a balanced state.
The bottom line is that I know what a balanced life looks like, and I need to enforce it.