Friday, May 29, 2009

Balancing the New and the Old

Coming home to a familiar place and familiar people is one of life's great pleasures. I arrived in Jerusalem last night and am, as always, very happy to be back! Something about 'coming home' is a universally compelling experience.

To be known and expected is a wonderful feeling. As appealing as new adventures are, there is something soothing about the familiar. Knowing what to expect and where you will find things is comforting at times.

Life is meant to be a blending of both. In this current trip, I am going to have small doses of the familiar of being here, and a lot of new experiences as I meet new people and try some new things. I love the balance!

I think one of the keys to living a happy life is striking a good balance between new adventures and the comforting routines of familiar experience. Each person has a different 'mix' that will work for them. Finding out what that is for ourselves is a mystery that is well worth diving in to. When we get the balance right, we feel a solid sense of 'home base' and feel like we have the foundation to launch our new adventures from!

Babies and toddlers go through a period of development when they start to move further into their world to explore. As their sphere of exploration increases, they often return to mom (or their caretaker) to make sure they are 'safe' before they go back to exploring. It's a process of 'touching base' with the familiar, known and safe place near their caregiver and then propelling themselves ever further into the larger world. There's a reason for this. The security they feel in the 'touching base' gives them the courage to go just a little further with each successive exploration. We do our own version of that as adults.

Give some thought to where that balance lies for you. How much familiar do you need in order to feel comfortable exploring the new? How much adventure do you need to feel alive? Where is that 'balance point' for you?