Posted by on 5th January 2023

My Word for 2023 is “Balance”

Stacy Gold and husband maintaining balance in their tandem whitewater kayak

Stacy Gold and husband maintain balance paddling their tandem whitewater kayak

Well, here we are at the start of another new year. I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. What I do enjoy is choosing a word to be my theme for the year. For 2023, my word is “balance”.

Balance between work life and Home Life. Balance between spending time with friends and family and spending time alone. Between exercising enough and playing hard outdoors, and making time for resting and recharging.

I set goals and make plans all the time (like the amount of editing I need to complete each week to publish my next adventure romance novel, Drive Me Wild, this spring). So I don’t need to put extra pressure on myself with resolution starting arbitrarily on January 1st.

Which is part of my trying to find and maintain balance. I’ve been searching for this elusive balance my entire adult life, and I feel like I’ve only even got close in the past few years. For a couple reasons…

The balance point in life is always moving.

One of the hard parts, of course, is the balance point is constantly moving and changing. I, or someone close to me, gets sick or injured, and the balance shifts. I have writing deadlines to meet, and the balance shifts again. Both happen at the same time, and I trip and fall over flat on my face (metaphorically speaking).

It’s actually a lot like Whitewater kayaking. When I’m a kayaking, the water is constantly moving and changing along with my boat’s position on the river, and my body’s position in my boat. All in an effort to stay upright through whatever the river throws my way.

Waves often come at me from both sides. Sometimes the waves and holes and drops are stacked right behind each other. So, I have to change my lean and/or my boat position repeatedly and superfast to get through each one upright.

When I’m unsuccessful, I get flipped over. Most times, thankfully, I’m able to roll right back up in my kayak. It’s often not as easy in life. But there’s another reason finding balance is so hard…

We live in a capitalistic society that values working hard and making money over anything else.

Back in the stone age of the pre-Internet days, I found it much easier to make time for myself. While I didn’t make much money, I had the kind of job where I could leave work behind when I went home. I definitely didn’t have all this pressure to constantly be online and creating content.

In the romance genre, it’s not uncommon to hear about other authors releasing four or even far more books a year. Plus, we’re supposed to make posts and videos for social media. And run our own Facebook group. And organize a street team to help promote our books. And be our own publishers and publicists. And… And…

At a certain point, I had to recognize that I will likely never put out more than a couple books a year, and that’s only if they’re on the shorter side). My health and well-being suffer if I spend too much time on a keyboard these days. And the only content I really wanna produce are my books. At a speed that lets me still enjoy my life. Definitely at a pace that doesn’t injure my body.

So, for 2023 (and beyond, I’m sure) I’m searching for that elusive balance. And rolling up quickly when I inevitably lose that balance. I’ll keep writing books I love at a pace that feels good to me. And I’ll honor the times when I need to exercise, get outdoors, or just sit around and read a good book— without guilt.

What’s your word (or goal or resolution) for 2023?