I have tagged 3 blog posts with life-balance:

Balancing Act: The Journey Towards Harmony in Personal and Professional Life - Insights from an Oslo Commute

A woman lost in thought, headphones on, gazing out the window of a city bus at the morning sun.
Kaia Thonul, Tuesday, June 4, 2024, 08:43

Good morning, dear readers!

Today, as the landscape bathes in hues of gold, the thermostat stoically registering a cool 12°C, I embark on yet another voyage from home to the heart of Oslo. Staring out of the window at the landscapes blurring past, I can't help but appreciate nature's astounding gift – the radiant early morning sunshine! The soft music playing in my earbuds, coupled with the rhythmic sway of the train, seems to inspire a sense of balance. The balance we all strive to maintain: between personal relationships and our professional aspirations.

In our journey of life, playing the twin games of professional sprint and relation marathon can get demanding. Often, we find ourselves in the middle of this 'catch 22' situation – teetering between wanting to be the best partner, friend, child, or being the ambitious professional, striving to leave an indelible mark on the world.

Understanding the importance of both facets of life is an art. There’s this precarious kinetic energy of balancing –- in both realms, we are in constant motion, continuously evolving, and perpetually learning. The key, I believe, is respecting both these entities and their respective spaces.

Our professional growth should never be at the expense of personal relationships, nor should our personal life compromises our career dreams. They are like two parallel tracks on which the train of life chugs. Both are essential for it to move forward smoothly.

But what about when the balance gets disrupted? Like the current situation between the Norwegian trade union, Unio, and its members. The escalation of a long-standing strike over wages, pushing public schools and kindergartens in Oslo towards crisis is a classic example. There’s a move towards balance here too: striking a fair wage deal is as important as maintaining the function of public institutions and services.

This reminds us that the act of balancing isn’t a one-time achievement, but a continuous exercise. The minute we lose focus due to moving too fast in one direction or becoming complacent, the balance is lost. It's a constant dance of readjustments.

For me, the train journey every day is more than a commute from point A to B. It’s my time to introspect, to maintain the balance in my life, to write this blog post amidst the hustle and bustle of this mobile universe, and to remind myself about my dual role as a journalism student and a friend, a daughter, and a partner.

Remember, folks, the scales of life should always be in harmony. Whether it’s the wage disputes with your union or the time spent with loved ones versus time devoted to career progression. There may be bumps, unexpected turns, but keeping focus and motivation, like my train journey that never fails to reach the destination despite all the stops, can help maintain that delicate, radiant balance in life.

Until tomorrow, Love, and peace... always...

Tags: life balance professional growth personal relationships

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Finding Your Rhythm: Navigating the Dance between University, Work, and Friendship in the Frosty Heart of Norway

A young man reading a newspaper, surrounded by textbooks, a laptop, and a coffee, against a university backdrop.
Kaia Thonul, Wednesday, December 6, 2023, 09:46

Good morning, everyone. As I sit on this train, the frost etching its poetry on the windows and the Norwegian winter making its presence known with a bracing -9 degrees Celsius, I am reminded of the concept of balance. The balance inherent in the very cycle of nature, winter's cold giving way to spring's rebirth. This thought prompts me to share my own experiences on navigating the tricky interplay between being a full-time university student, a part-time worker, and an always-on-call friend.

Managing time between these roles is like stepping into an intricate dance, one that requires a blend of grace, discipline and strategy. The snapshots of my mornings, characterized by the rhythm of the train wheels against the track, end up setting the stage for my entire day. In the confines of my daily commute lies a block of time that I use to plan, strategize, and educate myself. I write these very sentences, zooming towards another day at the university, my thoughts shaped by the world around me.

Today, for instance, I read news that radiates heat even from afar - a report on the escalating conflict in Gaza. As a student of journalism, it's a stark reminder of the power words wield, of their capacity to inform, educate, and inspire action. I further read about the Prime Minister's call for a ceasefire, his concerns for civilian safety, his emphasis on humanitarian aid and international law. The world, it seems, is dancing its own intricate dance, with bigger stakes and higher tensions.

For me, each day is a series of carefully planned steps. I study. I work. But I also listen, engage, and maintain connections with those who enrich my life. I meet friends for coffee, take study breaks to chat with them, laughing, gossiping, and growing together. Through these seemingly simple acts of connection, I cultivate invaluable relationships, nurturing friendships that create a strong support network which is, so often, a crucial element in coping with the pressures and demands of life.

Every one of us lives different lives, but the challenge of balancing distinct facets of life is universal. Whether it is college, work, friends, or any other pursuits demanding your time and attention, remember to be patient with yourself. It's a dance, after all. You'll stumble, miss a step, lose your rhythm from time to time. Forgive yourself when you do so, retie your dancing shoes, and step back onto the floor; the dance of life waits for no one.

And despite the challenges, there is an undeniable beauty in this delicate tightrope walk of managing time between university, work, and friends. It builds resilience, it teaches prioritization, it fosters empathy. It has given me a multi-faceted lens to gaze upon life, one that has amazing clarity, brilliant hues, and a breathtaking depth.

So, as this train forges forward, breaking through the silvery mist, I do too. I am grateful for my life, this frame-within-a-frame existence that keeps me grounded yet also propels me into the fascinating, challenging, enriching world of adulthood. I am grateful that amidst the chaos, I can still find balance. And as long as I learn to adjust my steps to the shifting rhythm, I am confident that I can keep dancing this intricate dance of life.

Tags: university life life balance student life time management

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Staying Powered Up: The Art of Balancing Life Amidst Gloomy News & Frigid Mornings

A serene photo of a person meditating, digital devices around them, a glowing power bank in the foreground.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, October 20, 2023, 07:24

The gentle hum of the train, coupled with the soft lyrical notes of Ed Sheeran's "A Team" playing through my earphones, forms the soundtrack of my morning commute. With a lukewarm chai latte by my side, I breathe onto the icy window until it becomes foggy to write and immediately erase tiny messages. Outside it's a frigid 2°C, the kind of weather that makes you wish you were snuggled up in bed with five different blankets and a particularly chubby Maine Coon.

Somewhere in the middle of this transitory existence, I find myself reading about a rather unsettling news piece on my phone - a shooting in Brussels. A gust of cold wind penetrates through, as if echoing the chill such news sends down one's spine.

In times like these when the world outside turns gloomy, one must strive to cultivate an internal environment of tranquillity and stability; a sort of mental homeostasis, if you will. A balanced life is the key and I can assure you it is not only achievable but can make the daunting journey of life a rather enjoyable ride.

The confusion that surrounds sudden news, whether it's terror or turmoil, seems to cause a ripple in an otherwise peaceful existence. It is normal to feel displaced, even dejected. But remember, like a train journey, life too has its highs, lows, stops, and unexpected delays. It's about staying steady, focusing on the journey, rather than getting caught up in the whirlwind of an unfortunate event.

One of the things that have made my commute bearable, especially in these frigid temperatures, is my trusty power bank. In today’s world, our connections with people, moments, even the global news cycle, which can turn from tranquil to turbulent at any time, largely happen through our electronic devices. An abrupt interruption because of a low battery can be unnerving. So, investing in a portable power bank has become akin to possessing a lifeline that keeps your world spinning.

A power bank is more than just a device that charges your phone anywhere any time, it gives you the freedom and the power to make choices - to respond to an email, read a PDF for your next lecture, share a laugh over an old picture, or get informed about global incidents - it ensures that you remain connected.

In the same vein, maintaining balance in life is about ensuring you’re charged-up, both physically and mentally. It demands maintaining a symphony between work and play, forging connections while ensuring self-care, remaining informed of global events without losing inner peace. Remember life in itself is nothing but staying powered up!

Despite the harsh news from Brussels and the chill in the air, my own little compartment remains warm and peaceful, with the soft glow of my phone light, and Ed Sheeran’s voice assuring that "It's too cold outside, for angels to fly".

In this journey called life, there will always be freezing days, but warm hearts and a balanced life shall always keep the cold at bay.

Tags: life balance commuting experience power bank

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