2011 has brought with it many gifts, opportunities, challenges and, most of all, the imperative to really walk my talk. (Shoot, now I am in for it.)

This is what I seem to have on my plate as we end the first week of the year: my horse who needs care and exercise; an ongoing very part-time office job; a play in the nascent stages of rehearsal with myself as Director (at a 45 mile distant location); a book begging to be completed; maintaining the social media connections; a house in the late stages of unpacking and careful settling; a home which I share full time with another living, breathing, creating, loving being.

No wonder I am feeling as if something has to go. But what? Not my time out in the environment and natural air. Thank goodness my horse is the gateway into that world! Even if I don’t have time and energy to run or hike there is always her needing me and in that way we serve each other.

The office job ties in with the trips for the play rehearsal and I enjoy the comfort of being organized and useful in that space. (Not to mention it is a source of income!)

Directing/producing the play feeds my creative passion as I juggle actors’ schedules, budget with set needs and immerse myself in the actual rehearsal process. The driving there and back serves to give me the time to listen to music, catch the news, or simply ponder the latest wrinkle in the process.

The book is taking a back seat although I find am thinking about it more and with a clarity that had been missing when endeavoring to complete the final chapter. Somehow though, the sitting and writing is eluding me.

The daily Twitter and Facebook connection is once again finding its morning ritual place. As I drink that morning coffee and peruse the online NY times, other papers, and listen to NPR, I keep an antenna up for that on which I wish to comment. Checking on to my page and the plethora of discussion via the wall is more sporadic! (I love the little emails that tell me someone has written to me!)

And the blog? Well here is this! I’d very much like to be more successful at getting it out on the same day each week… but there is that darned rehearsal schedule for a start…

The house is inching toward completion, as each day at least one thing is carefully home-d in the space or something is taken to the little garden storage shed for later. However boxes still squat in places where I know they are not going to live forever!

I make forays into the garden, (a summer project for sure). I play with the dogs, write to friends on email and angst over the letters that deserve and need a hard copy reply. The vacuum cleaner and broom and the lemon spray stuff with the paper towels emerge weekly. The Grocery Shopping and the To Do For The House (it needs some maintenance) lists grow on the fridge door.

Ongoing is the sustained effort to generate income, create and nurture connections that will allow me to do the work that I want to do – arts in healthcare, theatre, teaching and facilitating others on their journey.

As I walk the high tightrope of my life right now, however, the pole that I hold across my body is the beloved being with whom I share home and the journey. This dynamic keeps me flexible and balanced.

It would be too easy to as I have before, swallowed up in all the work and the ‘to dos’, so buried in the Doing of it all that I do not recognize how to let some of it go. Identified and defined by business of KATE the avalanche of Business would swallow me/Kate up.

This relationship, this home, keep me from flying loose and un-tethered into the stratosphere, preliminary to landing with a sudden reverberating thunk back on the ground, wondering what happened…What has to go then, is the whirling dervish of mindless, self-perpetuating activity.

I knew in November last year, when I was found by and found the life inherent in this relationship, that I was being given the wings by which I could fly, freely, in control of the direction and the velocity. And also given the means by which to perch and rest, walk on the ground when necessary, then to soar way above the mountains other times. And so I can choose never to be at the mercy of the winds about me, never to lose sight of the earth and my place here.

So when it is time to get up in the morning, whether or not it is in response to the alarm or trusting I have woken in time for the days activities, there is also time to snuggle with the living, breathing body beside me, before easing out of bed. We share the making of coffee, chat with the dogs, remark at the welcome glory of the sun in the sky, overview the day ahead, before going to our different morning rituals.

On the days that I am gone most of the day and into the night, he will feed and visit with my horse for me and then tell me how she is when I get home late at night. I can go to his work place and have lunch, he can come to rehearsal. The Grocery Shopping and To DO lists are negotiated and prioritized regularly. We wander the aisles of store together by preference. ‘Slow down’, he says, ‘Relax. If you don’t get that done today it will be alright. Do this now.’

So I let go a little, know that I can do it all differently. I let the floor shimmer under its covering of AZ dust and little dogs’ hair one day longer, and stop talking about the latest in the news or the frustration of the slow writing. Instead I admire the beautiful pots in the studio that appeared through the clay from under his hands, give and receive a gentle massage for tired muscles, and breathe.

2011 lands me fully in the gift to live life in relationship with myself, in communion with another being, in work and in play as I have never done before. I can creatively balance my life, the journey and expression of my path in good health and good company. The trick, after all, is mindful breath and the gift of the hands that hold mine while letting me fly.