Joseph F. McCaffrey MD, FACS


A Question of Balance

We all have our preferences. Part of living life well is knowing our own and finding ways to fulfill them.

Within a given preference, there will often be a question of balance. We may prefer one way of living mostly, yet still enjoy or even need to experience the opposite from time to time.

For example, I love living in the country. But I also love visiting cities. The question is, how often? For me, three or four times a year is about right. For some folks it might be every month. For others it might be every week and still others, never.

Some of my cousins are the opposite. They love living in New York City (“The City,” as New Yorkers say). They consider anything north of the George Washington Bridge as rural and they rarely venture there.

There are many other areas in life where we have our own personal best balance. Examples include time alone vs. time with others, active time vs. quiet time, doing vs. reflecting.

To enjoy life fully we need to be aware not only of what’s important to us, but how much. I need to be relatively close to a city – an extremely rural area wouldn’t work for me. Sometimes people make decisions based on their main preference and fail to allow for its opposite. Or they get caught up living life one way, forgetting the need for balance.

Awareness goes a long way toward reaching balance. Then it’s important to acknowledge what’s right for you and make a point of honoring your preference.

This is a process, one of ongoing reflection and self-awareness. A refined sense of balance characterizes a life lived well.

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