(For those who don’t live locally, Festival International is 3 days of music, food, dancing in the streets and a wonderful time – you can insert your own event and the article will be just as relevant)

Excited about Festival International? I am. Next weekend we’ll be downtown listening to some great bands, dancing, eating and running into all kinds of people that we haven’t seen in a while. I know at one point over the weekend, I will stand there and look around grinning and I will think to myself “Why don’t I do this kind of thing more often.”

It’s all about balance. We often get so caught up in our to do lists that we forget to do the things that renew us. We often do one thing with our mind still on another and so even when we are meant to be out having fun there is a part of us still in the office.

If you know me in person you know that I’m a fine one to be writing about balance. I don’t have it – not when it comes to work and play. I’m not even sure which is which most days. I think about ideas, customer service and communication wherever I am, and if you have coffee with me you know I always have part of my brain watching what is going on around us and am thinking about how I can make it into a blog post. I consider myself lucky to do what I love and love what I do. I can’t divide the people in my life into clients and friends and I love it that way.

Balance does matter to me though. Without it I go slightly crazy (insert your own sarcastic comment in here). I just think about it differently. To me the balance is about people, about those who energize you, and those who drain you.

If you spend most of your time with positive, uplifting, creative people then you have some energy to give those who need it. We all go through stuff sometimes and have hard times when we need a friend. We all can be temporally negative and need a boost. I say temporally because we all know some people that seem to be permanently negative and drain us every time we see them. Those are the people who get us out of balance.

Look around at the people in your life – there attitudes are a reflection of you. If they are bright, energetic and (mostly) see life as wonderful then you are probably like that too. If they are moaning and critical and love to talk about how life sucks, then you may just be one of those.

We all need a balance in our lives, the smiling faces at Festival will do us all good, and give us time to reflect. Soak in the positive vibes and the energy so we can face next week with the right attitude, and maybe have a look at the balance in your life – the people who help you smile, and those who bring you down.

(This column was first published in The Daily Advertiser on Tuesday 24th April 2012, rights reserved)