This year I lost my balance.
Thanks to hubbie for pointing out that balance has never been my strong point.
It’s true I’ve fallen off more things than I care to remember (including horses, bikes and cliffs) and am the sort of person who likes a bit of macaroni with her cheese rather than the other way around.
Yet I’m not talking about physical stability (there’s really no hope in that department after all). Instead it’s my emotional balance that I’ve begun to question over the past few months.
And it’s all because of blogging.
Getting the right work-life balance is hard. Especially when you have a full time job, a charity committee position and a travel blog to juggle. As a result, this year I’ve become so wrapped up in the online world that I’ve neglected reality. I’ve lost sight of why I’m doing all this in the first place. I may be writing about exploring the wide world yet I’m spending most of my time with my nose buried in a laptop.
Kinda ironic don’t you think.
The number of sweet treats (bribes!) I’ve been bringing home after work for hubbie has been increasing. I reckon he can’t get mad at me for ignoring him if food is involved! I feel guilty for not giving him enough attention, although he assures me he’s enjoying a more peaceful life!
Humph, what are the rules?!
So this summer I decided to do something about the imbalance of my life.
Once I’d thought about it, the solution was relatively simple. Part time working at my day job (in outdoor education marketing) would give me more time to dedicate to travel, writing, and of course hubbie. Naturally, he is thrilled at getting to spend more time with me!
So I smiled sweetly and convinced the ‘powers that be’ they only need me 4 days a week, and voilà! Here I am, working part-time for the first time in my life!
Of course I have great plans for my extra day off. I’m sure once the novelty of sneaky lie ins and rubbish daytime TV has worn off I’ll settle down and be a regular writing machine every Friday! I’ll also have more time to explore the UK, which often gets overlooked in favour of cheap flights and a bit of sun.
I haven’t been this excited in a long time (although camping out in a church last month comes close!) and feel this really is the start of a new chapter.
The rollercoaster of life
So things are pretty good at the moment. Short of winning the lottery and buying that mansion, we’re exactly where we want to be. Yet I know we mustn’t become complacent, as just around the corner another low is surely on the way (yeah so I’m a pessimist, deal with it). In the wise words of Ronan Keating…
…life is a roller-coaster you’ve just got to ride it.
And no I’m not a closet Boyzone fan. (Any more).
At least if you’re experiencing a low you know the only way is up! I was bullied relentlessly in high school because I was a tiny bit posh, but a year later I was living in a castle and loving it. Ironic, but who cares. I was nearly chucked out of university (which I’ve never told my folks, sorry mum and dad!) for an assignment ‘oversight’ after the death of a family member. Yet the same year I got to play my double bass for royalty at Windsor Castle. Yep, another castle! My career has been a trail of destruction and I’ve walked out of 2 jobs whilst still having a mortgage to pay (sorry hubbie), but looking back I’m glad I did.
Otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am today.
And for all the scepticism about my travel writing, it took just one word of admiration (possibly the first ever!) from my super-critical annoying little brother to cancel out all the negative comments. No doubt a momentary lapse of the unwritten brother-sister code of conduct, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.
There are highs, there are lows, and all the bits in between. I reckon life would be pretty dull if everything ran smoothly all the time, so it’s important for us to remember to remain humble, as well as hopeful along the way.
Enter the My Lokai bracelet.
The My Lokai bracelet name comes from the Hawaiian word Lokahi which means ‘creating unity by blending opposites’. A black bead containing Dead Sea mud and a white bead containing Mount Everest water represent emotional as well as geographical opposites.
The lowest and highest points on earth, and also in life.
The clear beads in between apparently symbolise our own unique journey between the highs and the lows. Now what would be cool is to be able to fill these beads with our own personal mementos. Perhaps a fragment of seaweed, a few grains of sand, or a splinter of rock. I could go into the ethics of removing the planet’s resources from their natural environments, but that would probably be a little hypocritical since there may be a small jar of Saharan sand sitting on our mantel piece at home.
I’m sure the camels don’t miss it.
I would never make a good hippie.
For me, the symbolism behind My Lokai is merely a great gimmick and the bracelet just a bit of cheap silicone. Yet there is simply nothing cooler than wearing beads containing a tiny piece of the lowest and highest points on earth. Besides, it will be the closest I’ll ever get to either Everest or the Dead Sea, since I don’t want to add to the commercialism ruining our most famous mountain.
And I hate mud with a passion!
Even without the ‘meaning’ behind it, I’m still a fan of the My Lokai bracelet! We’ve all heard of the overused quote:
It’s the journey not the destination
Well this is what the My Lokai bracelet is all about. It reminds us that life isn’t perfect, and that’s ok.
I guess what it all comes down to is being happy!
My Lokai Bracelet giveaway
Being the caring person that I am, I want to share the love and have a classic My Lokai bracelet to give away to one lucky reader!
It couldn’t be simpler.
It couldn’t be simpler.
Just enter on the Rafflecopter widget below!
I will ask the winner what size they prefer at the end (choice of small, medium, large).
Open to a WORLDWIDE audience!
Terms and conditions
No purchase is necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. The item is a classic My Lokai bracelet. The bracelet is not refundable or exchangeable for cash. This competition is open to a worldwide audience. The giveaway will run for 2 weeks and end on Monday 16th November 2015. The winner will be determined on or around the 16th November 2015 by a random drawing of eligible entries received. Your chances of winning are determined by the number of eligible entries.
The bracelet is eco friendly silicone, and whilst I was a little disappointed the beads weren’t hard and more substantial, it’s very comfortable and you can wear it in the shower and at the beach!
You can buy your very own My Lokai bracelet here. 10% of profits go to charity, which always makes us feel good about ourselves doesn’t it.
The My Lokai sizes range from small to extra large. I have pretty tiny wrists but was glad I opted for the medium. The small is more suited to children.
So how do we know it is genuine? Some reviewers couldn’t contain their curiosity and have sliced into their My Lokai beads to check. Lo and behold the black bead did contain mud, but the white one was empty. The water is ‘infused’ into the silicone and any residue will have evaporated. So I guess you have the ‘spirit’ of Everest rather than the actual ‘essence’.
Finally, to the cynics I say this…
You could look at it two ways. Either you have a band of silicone with a bit of mud in it, or you have something that symbolises your personal journey, makes you part of a community and reminds you that there is always sunshine just around the corner.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide.