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B for Bravo, B for Balance

B is for Balance

As a noun the dictionary describes balance as ‘an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady‘ or ‘a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions‘.

Originating from Old French balance (noun), balancer (verb), is based on the late Latin (libra) bilanx ‘(balance) having two scale pans’, from bi– ‘twice, having two’ + lanx ‘scale pan’.

Some synonyms: stability, equilibrium, impartiality, equal opportunity, evenness, symmetry
Some antonyms: instability, imbalance

My life when I look back over the last few years has been imbalanced in so many ways. I’ve focused on some things and let a lot of others slip. I’ve claimed over time that I couldn’t do it all, I just didn’t have so much time. Some of that claim is true but one part of me also knows the truth, I haven’t tried hard enough.

This year I’m trying to strike a balance, to make time for all that I want to do. Get more effective and productive with my time. Learn to value time, make every minute count. This one’s a difficult one, for the lazy me. It’s been so much easier to sit back and get lazy while claiming that I didn’t have the time or energy. I’ve resisted schedules and regimes. I’ve looked down upon routines and packed days. I’ve wanted unlimited time to do stuff but actually done nothing.

This year is the year of balances, of doing all that I want to do without losing out on one or the other. This is the year of being very active, of using every minute I have in a day to do something I value. Spending time with my dogs outside of walks and feeding. Working with them, training and playing new games. Gardening and getting to know the plants and trees better. Reading and reviewing more and faster! Catching up with friends; I’ve become so much of a recluse and frankly I miss my friends. Getting back to craft; it rejuvenates me but I haven’t created anything in months! The list seems endless, as things just keep springing up on the list – movies, games, work, photography,… oh, it goes on and on.

Above all of this though is my health. Since Nov-Dec last year, I’ve been ill. It started with these cramps and pain in my lower abdomen that left me kneeling over. That was the time though when a lot was happening, we were moving to a new house, settling down in a new place, bringing five dogs under one roof,…; there was so much happening that I found I was being able to block the pain from my mind by distracting myself with work.

There were days though when I just couldn’t, the pain was that intense. On those days, I and my family of Doctors tried to figure what was wrong. We talked when it got that bad in phases and slowly tried medications and eliminated possibilities. We went through the range, from worms to an ectopic pregnancy. It took me a few months to realise it was gas. Yeah, just gas!

I’ve had flatulence since I can remember. My Dad had it, so all these years I just wrote it off as that one thing I inherited from him and learned to live with it without causing myself public humiliation. Yeah yeah, I know how to tell the difference between a loud and quiet fart, a neutral and a smelly bomb; all before the fart actually escapes. 😀 And with me it’s rare for them to escape, with practice I had learned to hold it long enough to walk away and safely release.

This gas was fine, all these years it didn’t bother me but now it does. Some days it’s simple easy gas, passing out and not bothering me. But some days it doesn’t pass easily and it’s movement inside of me leaves me writhing in pain. It takes all my will power to not scream out. It’s silly I know but think screaming in pain is sissy. 😛

After all these months of thinking I must be dying a slow painful death, it’s a relief to know it’s just gas. It was be handled with lifestyle changes, balances, routines and care. It’ll take months and maybe even a lifetime of careful excesses but it can be lived with. Once my tummy settles, I will still be able to indulge in the foods I love – pani puri, deep-fried chicken, spicy andhra biryani, and more, just that now it will have to be in moderation and with care.

Over the last few weeks a system has been put in place. I take tablets before and after meals to avoid the gas. SOS tablets are at hand for when I have extreme pain. I eat every two hours, making sure that the stomach is never empty. Meals are not heavy or spicy. I do get it wrong sometimes but I’m slowly learning what triggers it (sometimes the pains come 2-3 days after the meal). I’m off alcohol for a while. I miss eating and drinking freely but the thought of the pain keeps me in check most often. :)

And the system seems to be working!

So, back to the topic – balance. This year is all about balancing a lot of things.

For those who have wondered where I’ve disappeared to in the last few months; now you know. 😀

April 15, 2014   1 Comment

Using Twitter for promotion – Part 2: How to engage and interest tweeple with your tweets

Tweeple In my last post on How Twitter is like a Newspaper we talked about choosing a target audience for your promotion and researching their needs and wants. But, just posting what they want isn’t enough. It is important to build variety, connect with tweeple, not spam and balance your tweets along with promoting yourself.

Variety

Don’t limit yourself to what you are doing or your area of work, look at how you can build-in variety. For e.g. Apart from tweeting about what Outdoor Corporate Training you are doing, your tweets can be about –

1. tips on outdoor activities
2. your learning from your programs
3. latest developments in your field
4. quotes on the outdoors and training
5. humor based on outdoors
6. good blog posts
7. recommend others who are good in the field

These are some examples but you should not limit yourself to them either. Look at all that your audience would be interested in; and remember that they would also have varied interests.

Connect

Don’t be a robot and just post headings and links. Share information about yourself and what you are doing; but in an interesting manner. People may not be interested in knowing what training session you are doing but they sure would like to know how you overcame a certain challenge.

Follow and watch what tweeple talk about. Reply and start conversations with people. Make your presence felt but tweet meaningfully not just because you have to say something.

Search on twitter with keywords related to your field of expertise and help tweeple out with answers and suggestions.

If you find an interesting tweet or information, retweet it. Passing on information helps your followers and also builds a connection with the person who posted the original tweet. E.g.

RT @devakishor The best tutorial/guide as to how we can use Linkedin http://bit.ly/okko7

Use the ‘@’ symbol not only to reply but to also draw attention and connect. (Read my post on ‘How to use the ‘@’ on twitter to your best advantage’)

Use hashtags to help people find your tweets. Hashtags are just like tags on blogs only add inline to your tweet. To create a hashtag simply place the ‘#’ symbol before a relevant word. E.g. #outdoor

For finding relevant hashtags being used in your field search hashtags.org or what the hashtag ?! – both are hashtag directories.

Use the #FollowFriday hashtag to recommend people. When suggesting people remember to include the reason for recommending them.

Watch your twitter stream for questions or someone asking for help. If you know someone who can help or answer the question make sure to recommend them. Connecting people is a great way to network.

Spam

No one likes to listen to only one person talk in a discussion room. Hence remember tweet but don’t overdo it. If your tweets clog your followers timelines there is a high probability they will unfollow you. I personally think you should tweet between 10-30 times in a day and no more.

If your tweet is not relevant to everyone and just one person – DM (Direct Message) them as there is no point in telling the world about it.

Balance

The last but most important point to remember is to balance your tweets. A good mix of information, answers, replies, retweets and promotion will keep your followers happy and bring you more followers.

I recommend only one promotional tweet in every 10 tweets and about 5-7 retweets in a day. The rest of your tweets can be a mix of information and replies.

How do you twitter? Please share your best practices in comments. Thanks.

September 22, 2009   2 Comments