I Am a Swinger. Not *that* kind of swinger. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

My swinging occurs almost everywhere else — in my food, in my mood, in my parenting, in my productivity. Some days I️ go full throttle, others I️ stay down low. Also known as black-and-white and ‘woah, you are too much!’ what I️’ve never been called is middle-of-the-road. Which is why it’s so hard for me to follow the very advice that makes the most sense to my rational mind: eat what you want in moderation; take a walk for 30 minutes a day; follow a consistent routine.

Some mornings I wake up like the Energizer Bunny on speed, and others I am ready for a nap by 10am. I know that the best thing for me is to take a walk outside or do some yoga - but I just don’t wanna and I’m not even sure that I can. I’ve tried persuading myself, bribing myself, even yelling at myself (on these days I am particularly mean with me). But then I’ll take a nap or watch a movie or just do nothing and eventually I’ll feel re-energized again (if not that day then the next, or the one after that).

Lately, I have approached myself with a little more kindness and curiosity: hmm, I wonder what’s up? I wonder what I need? It’s this compassion that ends up lessening my stress (and, ironically, softening my swing):

Why am I still on the couch after three hours?!?!! I have so much shit to get done!!

Ummm, I guess you needed three hours on the couch right now. Your shit’ll get done, it always does.

As usual, she’s right. That’s the thing with my swing, it goes both ways. Bursts of energy follow stretches of rest. Jars of green juice follow plates of pasta. It’s not that I️ have no middle, it’s just a little broader than some. Like my hips. And my smile. And my louder-than-others laugh. And my tighter-than-others hug.

After years of pushing myself towards moderation, it dawned on me that swinging is at the very fabric of my being. After all, I️ was made in Israel but born in Canada, to an Ashkenazi mom and a Yemenite dad, with a Taurus sun and a Sagittarius moon. In other words, Baby, I was born this way.

Which means that, like my height and brown eyes and love of chocolate, my pendular tendencies are not something I️ do, they’re something I️ am. So much of January is spent thinking about our potential, our best selves and who we want to be, that sometimes we dismiss all that we already are, overlooking the beauty in the very traits we are trying to quash.

This is the difference between creating yourself and discovering yourself. Creating yourself puts Old You in a box, steps on top of it and reaches up and outwards for the New You. Discovering yourself bends down, opens the box and unpacks it gingerly and lovingly, shrieking with joy every time she pulls out something she has forgotten, ‘woohoo! Check me out!! How sweet am I!?!’ (You are, you know. So sweet.)

There are two sides to every coin and two sides to every trait you want to transform. Like my pendulum swinging, which brings great benefits: I have an extraordinary capacity to appreciate wildly different points of view. An extreme level of adaptability. And a high level of tolerance and compassion. Why moderate the swing that has gifted me so much?

That said, there are some things that I am straight as an arrow about. I️ don’t eat liver. I don’t jump out of airplanes. And I don’t — hey, Johnny! Get your keys out of the bowl!! (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)