Can we really find the right balance in life?

Everybody talks about work – life balance. It is a popular discussion with numerous answers and different approaches all over the public domain. It is addressed both practically and spiritually.

“Everything in moderation” or “Pan metron ariston” said Cleobulus, one of the Seven Sages of Greece. He talked about finding balance in the 6th century BC. Today we still struggle to achieve this. Can we ever achieve the perfect balance? What is it all about? Is it about the destination, or about the journey?

I do believe that finding balance is not limited to the dipole between the personal and the professional. Finding balance is relevant to all aspects of our lives, anything that involves decision making and relations with others. No event is ever all black or all white, hardly ever is someone completely right or completely wrong. We constantly need to find balance and peace in our relationships with friends, colleagues, family, even with ourselves. Perhaps most importantly with ourselves.

Balance is about peace and fairness. A state where all elements have been considered; all the different facts and opinions and feelings.

There are so many opposites to consider:

  • Caring for looks VS caring for education.
  • Working towards goals VS watching TV all the time
  • Being a fashion victim VS not caring about image
  • Being hysterical about how things are done VS being without concern, care, interest
  • Being a liar and a hypocrite VS being brutally honest
  • Being superficial VS taking everything close to heart, being super sensitive

Considering all of the above, it is so easy to give the answer: find the golden rule, the happy medium, the middle ground. Who would disagree? But what does this really mean?

It is so important that we are in peace with ourselves. I strongly feel the need to be in peace with myself, in my effort to be a good person.

  • I want to eat the cake, but be thin as well
  • I want to party all the time, but read all the books as well
  • I want to have a killer career, but never get out of bed
  • I also want a super healthy body, but never set foot in the gym

Easy, huh?

It took me years of conflict, to realize that yes, I can have it all. We can have it all; it’s all about balance. Give and take.

  • Eat cake ever so often and not with each meal
  • Stay in bed longer during weekends and not every day
  • Visit the dreaded gym twice a week, not every day
  • Read the self – development book with all the wonderful tips about time management – even if it is for 15 min in the evening. By the way, 15min is still a lot more than nothing!

Wouldn’t it be great if we could be in peace with our inner demons and the unfulfilled dreams and expectations, we all deal with? Let’s just be realistic for a moment, understand and respect the choices that led us to where we are today.

All we want is to be better isn’t it?

I cannot really decide which is more difficult:  peace with ourselves or peace with the others? Peace inside would probably be a good starting point, I think.

We need to explore the middle ground that leaves enough room for both sides.  When others are involved, we need to leave them room to breathe and maintain their self-respect. By all means, set a boundary but be equally prepared to respect the individuality of the other person – no matter what their role in your life.

I believe that the main idea, the underlying principle is to find our own personal position, our own personal happy place, the perfect analogy for our identity, our personality, our choices, our circumstances. To define the person we want to be and treasure it.

I would love to read your thoughts on this. Send me a reply if you would like to share.

Learning HTML. Balancing the technical and the creative.

Hello, friends!

So, I’m in this Blogosphere now, trying to make sense of it all!

When I started blogging I thought best to enrol to a course about Blogging and Writing for Online Audiences. Towards the end of it my tutor advised me to learn to code in order to improve my outcome. Well, I do want to be good at this so I decided to learn HTML. My tutor promised this will help!

This blog post is about Learning HTML

I did some research on the subject and without much difficulty Google revealed various options. Step one was to explore those options and find the right one for me. Coursera, edX and HarvardX offer courses and so does Codecademy and Code First: Girls and many others. I plan to revisit the subject as I go along, but for now I decided to start with Codecademy.

Outline

In case you didn’t know HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and it basically structures the content of the web page. There are all sorts if elements and tags and attributes to help you do this.

There are many little coding signs known as elements and tags and attributes used for

  • signifying headings
  • defining and displaying text
  • creating numbered lists and bullet point lists
  • adding images and videos
  • creating tables
  • creating links with other web pages

html on black screen

Creating web pages

All the little symbols have their places

At the beginning it takes time and your fullest attention to get into the meaning of this. The tags, the attributes, all the little symbols have their places. Every little detail needs to be in the right place otherwise the whole thing will not work. Precision and clarity are major priorities in this environment. The language has a very logical structure, but after each section it is absolutely necessary to do the practical exercises so that everything sinks in.

It is quite meticulous work, which requires a genuine interest in how things are done behind your screen. Computer language is quite unforgiving. From what I understand, this line of work requires a great sense of collaborating with colleagues. A set of fresh eyes seems like the only way to rectify things and improve them.

I am still smiling every time I press the RUN button and run my code! I can’t wait to see what happens. The way I look at Web pages has changed so much now. I can imagine people in their offices preparing all those beautiful presentations on black screens. And then pressing the RUN button to see what they created, to see how it looks like.

Finding Balance

Professional developers also need to find balance. There is a constant struggle between writing content that has a sound structure and content that plays by the rules set by search engines. It is important that parts of text can be found easily. That is the name of the game in today’s Internet. No point writing marvellous content if nobody is ever going to find it and read it. Text needs to be divided and tagged and marked with keywords, so that search engines like Google can actually find it and bring it to the user!

Professionals would refer to this as balancing complexity and targetability. They need to balance a sound structure with targeted content and create a page that is a joy to read.

Epilogue

I really do feel that people of the coding tribe genuinely want outsiders to get into their world. Most of the courses are clearly presented in an appealing way and I can tell a lot of work was required behind the scenes to arrive to those products. Thank you guys!

I feel eager to use my new skills. And I’ll start with this post. WordPress provides access to the HTML environment behind my post so I can play around with those elements for practice. So, in case something is not really functioning properly in this page, you know whose fault it is!

I am grateful to modern technology for enabling me to send my message to you; to communicate with people in faraway places. To me that is valuable.

I can’t wait to read your thoughts on Learning HTML.

Send me your reply below with your experience and your suggestions. I’d love to read it.

Abstract Balance Art

Here is my visual take on Balance. A seesaw in life’s playground going up and down in a continuous effort to find balance.

Do you like my art? I would love to read your feedback.

If you like it, I’d be happy to send the image to you to use anyway you like. I don’t mind. Just ask for it in your reply below or use my contact page.

Abstract seesaw using blue and pink

From one thought to another and back again

Abstract form of seesaw using blue and yellow

Back and forth, up and down

Things I wish my mother had told me. Thoughts on the book.

Book Review: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me, Lessons in Grace and Elegance by Lucia Van Der Post. John Murray Publishers, UK, London 2008.

I chose to write about this book because of its title. The mention of My Mother brings to mind so many things… Personal things I wished my mother had told me years ago, and most importantly, things I have to say to my daughters! This is going to be a review with that in mind.

Lucia Van Der Post is an associate editor of the Financial Times’s How to Spent it magazine, and has also written for the New Statesman, Departures and many others. She writes about style and luxury and has a devoted audience.

Inside  the Book

The book covers a variety of themes such as: How to Wear Clothes; How to look Good; Love, Marriage and Happiness; Perfect Presents; Fun and Games. Her Lessons in Grace and Elegance derive from personal experience and are solidified by her proven reputation as lifestyle writer. She offers valuable advice such as a list entailing what is worth spending money on. There is also her “golden rules” for shopping at the sales. Her advise is timeless and it extends beyond dressing elegantly and looking smart. She also offers insights into being a good host, a stylish professional and a delightful friend.

Going back to the title, there is clearly a positive message. You don’t have to worry about the things your mother didn’t tell you; you will find everything in here! And you do find everything in there.

What do I tell my daughters?

I think this book is practical rather than inspirational; it does cover everything in a very comprehensive way. More importantly, this book made me think about my role as a mother. It made me think about all the things I have to tell my daughters. It made me realize that I’m not here to teach them the basics and remind them to do their homework. My role is a lot more complex than that. It is equally important that they know how to take good care of themselves, how to manage their life, their manners, their feminine questions and aspirations. I’m not sure how much help I actually got from this book, but the title stayed with me over the years and made me feel more responsible as a mother. I hope I will be able to teach them how to determine their unique identity, how to define their personal look, how to set their priorities and lead their lives in a balanced way. Elegance and style included!

I would love to read your thoughts on this. As a mother what do I need to tell to my daughters? What would be the most important lesson? How do I teach them without being overbearing? Any ideas?

 

 

Hello world!

 

How are you? I’m happy to be here, talking to you.

Let’s open our window to the world! Let fresh air come in and the sun warm our faces. I am grateful for being here with you. There is so much to talk about, to share.

Recently, I learned so many things that enable me to communicate with you. I learned to write online ethically, to use colours and headings, and pictures, and tags. I am able to understand this world a bit better now and appreciate that there is so much more to learn.

I also realised that our creativity is endless. Inspiration can be found, we just have to look for it. Inspiration enables us convey our feeling, our message. It is so beautiful to find new interesting ways to express your voice. And it’s nice to get heard. And receive a response.

I would love it, if you were to reply to me with your thoughts. Whether you agree with me or not I’d love to hear it. Finding balance between opposites is my thing. Sometimes we have to choose, sometimes we can have both, sometimes we compromise. In any case inspiration makes this all the more interesting.

We have so many responsibilities at work and at home. By sharing our stories we can make our lives better; slightly better tomorrow and even better the day after.

I’d love to talk about things we care about. Things like finding inspiration and beauty in everyday life. Fully aware that both are easily lost in the hectic rhythms of our lives.

Dear world, before saying goodbye I would like to say how grateful I am to be celebrating my online presence today. Our human desire to connect and share our stories is powerful and amazing. An honest and intimate voice is so loved. I hope we can be friends.

All the best!

Our community

This is a post about our community, about who we are and what unites us. This is an opportunity to introduce myself and explain my reasons for being here. I want us to learn from each other. I want us to discuss how we can get inspired and live our passions, and also how we can balance dreams and reality.

Who we are

We are the women who care about elegance and style and this is neither our profession nor our only concern. We strive to balance those in a full life with limited resources.

We live complicated lives. We have a job full of demands, a partner that expects us to be superheroes and serene at the same time, we have children that need our care.

We desire to do our best

  • to do great at work and look the part every day. Own the perfect look, and the right set of skills for that promotion
  • to host dinners with home cooked goods without losing composure
  • to organise the loveliest party with a personal touch, care, attention
  • to attend family gatherings of any kind without losing our temper while wearing the right attire

Introducing myself

I am here to provide a platform for our explorations, for our communication, for sharing tips and ideas. I am here to discuss balance  and the challenges it poses. I will review books on our favourite subject, style, and post my notes on a separate page in this blog. Next week I plan to post my thoughts on my favourite book so far! It’s a surprise! I have read quite a few already but feel free to make suggestions; I’d love to read them all.

In this blog you will find tips and posts about organising a beautiful party without losing your mind. I will also provide an outline for scheduling the preparations. The focus is on delivering without forgetting about yourself. To remember the food, the decor, the dress, and also to breathe.

Sharing our passions

I want us to get to know each other, exchange notes and ideas. Find the images that inspire us in books, magazines and online and share them. I want to discuss ways to live our passion.

Firstly, choose to live your passion!  Then you will find the way. Make it a priority and form your world accordingly.

Practically this means create room for your passion, in your mind and in your life.  For me that means clearing my office space from old school books and redundant notes, and putting in a bookcase. I want it to be red. And then I absolutely need to place an inspiration board above that bookcase. I can almost see my board full of pictures of colourful china, tranquil rooms and outfits that take me places.

On balancing dreams and reality

How do we do all that in a complicated life with complicated finances?

Balance comes into play here. There is much to say about finding balance. Lots of posts will follow on this topic as it constantly intrigues me.

I will be writing lots about balancing the options and choosing the best one for you. About disentangling yourself from perfectionism and choosing the solution that is right for you.

The tailor made version of things that compliments your character, and lets you shine through the adversities and the challenges of everyday life.

The main thing is to stay focused

Don’t forget what’s important to you

Go for the little things every day. One step at a time, only make sure you remember where you are going.

Finale

 It is evident that this is about belonging, about common ideas, and common priorities.

It would be amazing to take this community forward and empower each and every one of us. Drive progress and improvement with tips and ideas.

For our peace of mind and our styling choices

For our presence in the outside world and inside our minds

For our fulfilment and happiness and love for ourselves and others.

Receiving feedback would be amazing so please send me your comments using the reply button below. Thank you so much!

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