Strike a balance

2023 is the year of balance. At least that’s what my intuition told me in late December of last year.

So I bravely put a stake in the sand and declared to all my friends, “My word for the year is balance.”

I felt sure. Solid. A little underwhelmed, maybe, but the word had promise.

For regular readers, this is a familiar activity—choosing a word for the upcoming year. I’ve done it for many years now and some of you have told me you also have begun to do it. Beats a New Year’s resolution, which feels like work. Choosing a word is more like choosing a beacon, a guiding light, that your subconscious holds for you throughout the year—bringing you back to it, to center.

We are only about a month and a half into the year and I can already tell the Universe was having its way with me when it whispered this word in my ear.

What I thought it meant: Work less. Play more. Find time for exercise, for more memories with friends, for meditation, for my usual solo pursuits. Dip a toe into the water of the dating pool to get well-meaning friends off my back. My children are launched and the house was empty—my friends’ minds were on my future happiness. Mine was on how awfully quiet the house can be on a weekend when no young buck is loudly entering and leaving at all hours of the day and night.

Some of you may have read about the beginnings of my house purge—whittling away at things that no longer suited my current life. I was Serious about this. I meant it. I had begun to talk to realtors and research neighborhoods in another locale.

And then, Life happened. As it usually does. And now, even I’m chuckling to myself. What’s the saying? If you want to see God laugh, tell Her your plans. That’s it, I think. Well, the joke is on me.

On my very first day on the dating app, I met two men that seemed (a) somewhat normal and (b) a nice blend of smart, funny, intriguing. The first one was house hunting so we pushed out the day we were going to meet to accommodate that. The second suggested brunch over the weekend.

I’ve been dating him since that brunch several months ago.

I’m not going to spill all the beans, folks. You know me. I’m pretty circumspect when in a relationship. And I have a few loved ones who are a bit overzealous about my dating life. They want to know every detail and own the story. No thanks. It’s mine.

But I share my dating status by way of saying, here’s how I ended a blog I wrote just days before I met the man I’m currently seeing:

“I also love love but hate settling. I’m a really independent woman in what is still in many ways a man’s world. Maybe I’ll meet a man modern enough to share my journey. Maybe I won’t. Either way, I’ve proven to myself I can be happy and ok and all good things as a woman alone. The world still doesn’t understand that but it will, in time.

Make me an offer, Universe. Here I am. Do we go back to where I was headed before this 10-year stint? Or do we do an about-face and move in a completely new direction?

I’m listening.”

The Universe took me at my word and offered up a completely new direction. One I’m enjoying right now.

But balance? Ha. I took an already busy life and added to it, making balance more difficult—not easier. But what better way to round out a life than with someone you care about? What better reason to ensure work ends at a reasonable time? What better way to relish the moment and welcome with open arms the lessons and the joy still to come?

While I thought balance meant me being more in control over my time, it actually has been the opposite. It’s a lovely conundrum to have. I’m allowing for the possibility that after many years of healing, maybe bringing love into my life is what the universe meant by balance. I’ll just have to live on into that answer—knowing I’ll be ok either way. Do I hate putting that thought out there publicly? Oh yes. Talk about vulnerability. But I think many of you read because I’m brave in this blog. Even when it makes me grit my teeth. Dating in middle age means people come with so much more stuff—baggage, wants, needs, etc. And sometimes that stuff overwhelms true feeling. I’m hoping in this situation, true feeling wins. Regardless of outcome, I’m enjoying the moments now. I recently celebrated Valentine’s Day for the first time in many moons (last time I was still married, over a decade ago). Moments. Really wonderful moments. Strung together, they make a great life.

I hope you have a word for the year, friends. And I hope you let the Universe bring it to you rather than vice versa.

It’s how the best ones come.


73 Comments Add yours

  1. Carl Wright says:

    Thank you for sharing. I admire you for how well balanced you are in your journey. Gives a person confidence in oneself. I try to live a well-balanced life. It’s hard. I find when the world around me is out of balance, I feel imbalanced too. For me, I guess with my own perspective balance is not a destination, but a constant journey.
    I’m very happy for the special someone in your life. Sharing some details, without spilling all the beans. I am more a senior age and I can’t imagine going out dating again. But I know even some seniors I know have done just that. And are extremely happy.
    Sorry about the rambling comment. Thanks again for sharing.😀

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Carl, for the kind words! Trying to live well balanced life is a great goal. I think it’s easier during some seasons and others, though, right? And it certainly has been more challenging as the world has gotten more challenging. But I guess the more of us that can strive for it, the more likely it is that the world will move in that direction. And I also hear you on the dating. At any age, dating was not something that I relished so, I look at those seniors, and I think they are incredibly brave :-).

      1. Carl Wright says:

        You are very welcome, Kristine. It definitely is easier during some seasons. A motto I’ve tried to live by is set goals but not too big that I can’t accomplish them. I may aspire to stain my deck, or do my taxes or spend time replying to emails and blog comments. Or I may just spend a lazy afternoon reading on my deck. If I accomplished what I set out to do, it has been a productive day. 😀

  2. Hello Kristine and congratulations. It’s always wonderful to have someone in your life who you care about and can journey through life with. This, your journey, sounds like true balance. Allowing yourself to nuture all sides of yourself, even it may seem hectic at times. So many who reach middle age, give up on love. Balance challenges us and you have met the challenge. This was a wonderful refreshing read and reminder to be true to all sides of myself. Atleast that’s my interpretation. Thank you for sharing. Peace and Blessings.

    1. candidkay says:

      Craig! It’s so good to hear from you. Thank you, as always, for the kind words and the deep thoughts. So many do give up on love in middle age. I understand why. But it’s also sad to me because I do believe that love is such a rich part of a full life. I’m going to continue to try to show up, be brave, and move forward, despite vulnerability being tough. I think that’s all any of us can do. Blessings to you!

  3. intuitiveguide333 says:

    I also chose Balance. 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      It wasn’t a word that excited me, but it definitely was a word that fit. I hope you’re finding your balance this year so far!

  4. Amy says:

    Wishing you the best of everything life has to offer, my friend! I’m so happy for you! xoxox

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Amy😊. Joy in the moments!

  5. riham333 says:

    My new year word was lighter. I’m always tense, so it was a good way to remind myself to just be lighter, whether it’s in the way I perform my daily tasks or how I handle life’s challenges, always a little lighter.

    Also, happy to hear that you’re accepting good things from the Universe. Wishing you all the best in life and love

    1. candidkay says:

      That’s a great word! I hope, two months in, it’s working:).

  6. Oh another wonderful post written from the heart right! Go girl you deserve it .. ah nothing like some balance. Now I’m scratching my head wondering about my word xx

    1. candidkay says:

      Good! I hope you know that you are open to your word coming to you that it comes with very little effort! And thank you for the kind words. Always good to see you here!

  7. mydangblog says:

    I’m so very happy for you. Maybe the balance wasn’t life but heart:-)

    1. candidkay says:

      That’s a rabbit hole that makes me smile😀. Thanks for the added perspective!

  8. KM Huber says:

    “While I thought balance meant me being more in control over my time, it actually has been the opposite. It’s a lovely conundrum to have.”

    A lovely conundrum it is! For very different reasons I have known this well. Best to you in love, Kristine, moment by moment.


    1. candidkay says:

      So good to hear from you! Thank you for the kind words and I hope all is well. I’m glad to know you’re still out here in this group swim.

  9. Kristine!! Sometimes the universe throws us a bone that doesn’t unravel our lives catastrophically but instead in an unexpected and beautiful way. What is this sorcery? I am SO happy for you, and I wish you only love and joy in the days ahead. You deserve all good things and to have your heart held with the utmost care and tenderness. Years ago, I somehow found my way to your blog, and I remain grateful that I did because your perspective and approach to life are ones I admire. Have a lovely weekend, and enjoy the moments. ❤️

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, if I could just print out and frame your comments for my bad days :-). You are the sweetest thing. Encouraging even when you’re going through your own rough time. Your own days of love and joy will return. I know you know that. It sometimes doesn’t help when you’re in the hell that can come between them. Sending much love and very grateful for you also!

      1. Thank you, Kristine. 😘

  10. In this case I’m very glad God laughed at your plans 🙂 Wishing you all the best on this journey.

    1. candidkay says:

      Me too, Andrea! Nice to be having not just solo moments of joy, but moments of joy in a relationship again. Thank you for the kind wishes.

  11. Ally Bean says:

    I like your word of the year, but intentionally decided not to have one this year. Doing so was part of my NY Rejections, as I called them. That being explained, I like the idea of Balance and how it is supporting you as your move forward in your life. Keep on keeping on with it– and be happy. You desire it.

    1. candidkay says:

      Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2023! And I totally respect your decision not to have a word this year. I think we all have to do what works for us.

  12. Hi. I guess you have to be open to possibilities and see what develops. You might find yourself headed in directions that you weren’t expecting, but that feel comfortable nevertheless.

    1. candidkay says:

      I agree. I’ve always said that I would like God to show me the road ahead, at least in the length of a football field. And when I tend to be able to see instead is just a yard at a time. It’s a challenge for me. But I’m learning how to enjoy the moments.

  13. Masha says:

    For the last 6 years the universe has given me a word, and it always winds being the perfect word for that year. This year my word is OPEN.
    I’m so happy for you, this relationship feels like it’s good for you, cheers to a year filled with joy, love and balance. xo

    1. candidkay says:

      Open. I like that! Feels like it resonates with the things you’ve been covering in your blog. Here’s to a Wonderful 2023 for both of us, Masha!

  14. April Garner says:

    I like reading about your word for the year, and I love that the universe has prompted you to reinterpret your understanding of “balance.” It keeps us on our toes, doesn’t it?
    I have adopted your word practice as well; mine this time around is “connection.” For me, this means reaching out to people, both personally and professionally, instead of second-guessing myself, as is my habit. But the connection has to be mindful and intentional, not the e-blast version of reaching out. Thank you for this concept; it has enhanced my new year routine immensely.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, I’m so glad to hear this, April! And your word sounds perfect for your year. It sounds like it was a very thoughtful choice. Here’s to an abundance of meaningful connections for you this year.

  15. markbialczak says:

    I am very happy to read what the universe wanted balance to mean for you, Kay! May this new relationship continue its journey up the path of life, loosening dust of comfort that looks good on your shoes and kicking up pebbles of joy that feel good on your shins!

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Mark!😊

  16. Flowerpoet says:

    I am delighted by your news and post. Inspired by your choice of a word for this year, I would have to say Delight is mine and I’ll add Gratitude for every year. 💖✨

    1. candidkay says:

      Ooh, I love delight! I’m having so much fun with people’s very different words— it’s really amazing to see how many paths are being traveled.

  17. Karen Lang says:

    I think sometimes we get so caught in balancing life, we lose sight of this moment! And after reading your post I am feeling as many others have that you have found this moment again, that you realise you don’t know what’s next, but you are doing it anyway! living in this moment is throwing it all out there and being surprised what you get back, it’s what is right for you, and it’s infinite and full of possibilities! So maybe my word for 2023 is ‘infinite!’ That way I’ll be open to it all ha 💕🥰💕

    1. candidkay says:

      I like that word for you in 2023!

      1. Karen Lang says:

        And I’m very glad you are happy and content 🧡🥰

  18. As soon as you make plans… yup. How wonderful you’ve got someone special to spend time with! Congrats!

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you😊. And yes, the plans. Oy!

  19. I am thrilled to hear about this new “balance” in your life!

    In 2020 my word was “gather” – boy did the universe have something to say about that one. I ended up holding on to that intention for two more years.

  20. I am thrilled to hear about this new “balance” in your life!

    My word of 2020 was “gather” – boy did the universe have something to say about that one. I ended up keeping that intention for two more years!

    1. candidkay says:

      Love it! So has your 2023 word come to you yet?

      1. My 2023 word is “Elevate” (words, deeds, objects, relationships) what/why am I saving these things? Time is just too precious.

      2. candidkay says:

        Ooh, I love that one!

  21. There was a movie – I cannot recall the name of it but your post made me think of it. The man said he asked for patience yet it was delivered in a way that he did not understand at first – by a lot of things to be impatient about. And so he learnt to be patient. The universe doesn’t give us patience it teaches us how to find it. Similarly the art of balance may be found in a great deal of imbalance – perhaps.

    1. candidkay says:

      Very profound and exactly what I was trying to say! And asking for balance, I was given something wonderful that would throw things even more off-balance, but I am learning to redefine balance as a result. Thank you for helping me clarify that.😀

      1. My pleasure, I enjoyed your post 😊

  22. Jane Fritz says:

    What a lovely way of describing how happiness walked into your life, Kristine. Joy trumps balance every time. 💕

    1. candidkay says:

      It sure does, Jane😊❤️. Thank you for reading, and for the kind comment!

  23. So, the silence was just you turning the tv off 🤣 Change so…well…changes us. And then that turning left instead of right, traveling paths never touched, sidetracked on impulses…all this excitement Kristine. The next thing we’ll get a little note from The Bahamas as you kayak out into that lovely clear blue tropical water saying…’I’ll be back!’ …but your lost…happily, truly lost to love 🤣 And even if it isn’t ‘this’ one, your being shown the one inside you too. It is always there, even now sharing itself with you. Have fun! 😀❤️🙏🏽

    1. candidkay says:

      Well, I have always wanted to learn how to kayak😉. Thanks, Mark, for the well wishes! Onward and upward.

      1. Indeed kind lady. Um…onward and upward…so your going to do hang gliding too. Go girl 🤣❤️🙏🏽

  24. willedare says:

    Hurrah! I am glad you are savoring this new development in your life. Thanks for this lovely update on what’s been unfolding in your life!

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you😊. I hope all is well in your corner of the world and that the music is going swimmingly!

  25. Miriam says:

    Oh, this is wonderful Kristine and I’m so happy you’ve met someone to share your journey with. The Universe does indeed work in mysterious ways but it sure does listen. Enjoy your year of balance. And love. xx ❤️

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Miriam! ❤️. I hope all is well in your world.

      1. Miriam says:

        It sure is. 🥰

  26. Dale says:

    I echo John, Kristine, and say that you sound light and happy. Balance schmalance 😉 Maybe this is YOUR version of balance.
    Lovely to read you again.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, Dale! So good to hear from you. And you’re right. I am light and happy. A friend told me I seem happier than I have in a long time. That in itself is a beautiful thing. Balance schmalance it is😊.

      1. Dale says:

        I am truly happy for you…
        and hopeful for me. 😊

  27. srbottch says:

    Best of success with your new approach to Life. Men can Best regards, a great help ( biased, of course). Love the term, my boys are launched and I hope they’re happy, too. Take care.

    1. candidkay says:

      I agree with you – men can be a great help! And great company. At least the really good ones :-). Hope all is well in your world, Steve!

      1. srbottch says:

        It is, especially when people agree with me 😎. It was great seeing your post which I thought had been missing. Or, it could have been a case of me pushing WordPress to the back burner. I haven’t been writing until this past week. I wrote another live story and one about decluttering. I found some words to use and gave myself a pep talk. I’m happy for you that you’ve found some good companionship. We all need someone in our lives. Have fun.

      2. candidkay says:

        I will! And I will check out your new story.

  28. Roy McCarthy says:

    Yay! Happy for you Kristine and hoping for many happy days ahead. I think I found my ‘balance’ in that respect – being able to spend time with gals whose company I enjoy e.g. running, drinks, the odd meal, with no intentions or expectations beyond that on either side. It makes for a relaxed life where I can then retreat into my preferred lone state.

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m really happy to hear this, Roy. The balance is different for everyone and regardless of age, can be so hard to nail. But you feel it when you feel it. Love to know that you are on the other side of the drink having a wonderful life.❤️

  29. You sound happy, and that is all that matters. Thanks for the update.

    1. candidkay says:

      I couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect response, John. How did I know that you would absolutely get it? Thank you so much for your generous spirit.

      1. I’ve walked in your shoes, is my guess. 😊

  30. Congratulations Kristine on your great attitude, putting yourself out there, dating, and laughing about it all. I say I want relationship, but haven’t done anything about it. May your relationship bring you joy and balance!

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, Brad. Totally get it. Doing is the toughest part. I honestly went into this, thinking that I would just put in my three months to get my friends off my back. But I tried to keep an open mind. Wishing you luck!

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