Balance - the even distribution that allows for steadiness. Easy to lose, hard to acquire but necessary to maintain. Life has a funny way of throwing you off-kilter as a much needed reality check.
Photo credit: Jonathan Cruz Photography
I used to have a t-shirt that read “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you have to keep moving”. It was baby blue and had a hand drawn pic of a old timey bicycle on it. It was the kind of T you would pick up at a Gulf Island farmers market, and I absolutely loved it. So much so, that I wore it way beyond its style expiry date. Other people loved it too. I can’t count the number of times folks would stop me to comment on Einstein’s message. The problem was, I was in no way walking that talk. At the time I was working for Entertainment Tonight Canada, Global News, and BC Children’s Hospital Lottery, while unknowingly neglecting my family, my friends & myself. Then 2016 happened and I had no choice but to look at what balance REALLY means and achieve it for real.
Last July I lost my my sweet, mother-in-law Yvette and just 39 days later, my beautiful mom, Judy. Saying goodbye to two women I loved so deeply was the toughest thing I have ever faced. But in typical Cebula fashion, I powered through the pain - taking on extra gigs, globe trotting, socializing like a madwoman and drinking far too much wine. It wasn’t until Christmas break that I finally slowed down enough to realize that I was not in very good shape.
Photo credit: Entertainment Tonight Canada
Recommendations from loved ones came pouring in. Do Yoga. Go Vegan. Take a trip. See a shrink. I was already working out, travelling and eating my veggies so I decided to see a counselor.
If Tony Soprano can do it - why not me?
My therapist was great. She helped me work through some of the sadness and got me into some fun new hobbies. I started meditating, journaling and - this is where you need to pay attention - lowering the bar. Now I know what you’re thinking. Unless it’s a limbo competition, aren’t we supposed to be continually raising it? I’m not so sure anymore. I started giving myself permission to be quiet, or still, to sleep in past 8 or rip through a bag of salt and vinegar chips while watching Ellen. These are things I never would have even considered doing a year ago. The guilt would have been too much to handle. Now I was doing all those things. And guess what? I found that I was becoming MORE productive during my work hours and…wait for it…a whole lot happier.
Now I’m no professional (or genius), but I do know that being busy and “on” 24-7 will burn you out. Been there. Done that. I also know that taking baby steps towards balance is easier than you might think. I now start my days a little slower, and usually with a healthy TruMarine bevy, a double Americano and as much comfy robe time as possible. I try my best to sneak in a little nooky (not pictured) and spend as much quality cuddle time as I can with my pup Pickles. Just being in her presence increases stress-reducing hormones and reduces all that harmful cortisol. And well…just to bring it all full circle for you…I also make sure my bike “Justice” sees a lot of action. Turns out, I can pedal a little slower and still find balance.
Photo Cred: Entertainment Tonight Canada
Erin Cebula has been a fixture on Canadian television since landing the coveted role of Community/Arts Host for BC's #1 station in 2000. Her compassionate approach to entertainment reporting has graced the likes of Vancouver talk show Urban Rush, Canucks Pay-Per-View and HGTV Canada’s feel-good hit, Makeover Wish. Erin is currently the West Coast Correspondent for Entertainment Tonight Canada, an advocate for the BCSPCA, the proud Spokesperson for BC Children's Hospital Lottery and an intrepid world traveller.
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