I find myself wondering about balance a lot recently. I think we all do. It’s part of the modern condition, with the constant expectations and demands on our time. We all talk longingly about achieving balance. However, now that I come to think about it, I’m sure people through the ages have always thought about balance.
- Honey, make sure you make time to pick berries after you hunt that caribou. And don’t forget, on Wednesday we’re carving arrowheads at the Johnsons. Oh, and make sure you show Billy how to make a fire without setting the hut on fire again. And, and we need to make time to stare at the fire together in the moonlight, ok?
I think for me, one of the icky-sticky points is that I don’t trust those moments I have “balance”. I have grown so accustomed to texting while driving, eating while standing, making calls while I brush my teeth, etc. that I’m not sure I know how to just slow down and accept a peaceful time in my life. Peaceful times usually vacillate between me waiting for someone to sneak up on me and hit in me in the head with a bat or just sitting around and being bored.
Last week, I decided to get a massage. I haven’t had a massage in years, but I felt it was time to treat myself. It was great, but the funny thing was that it took 10 minutes to wind down, and as the massage was ending, how I started thinking about what I needed to do when the massage was over:
- I need to call that client
- I need to pick up the girls from school
- Alexa has that homework project due on Monday
- Are the Johnsons actually coming over on Wednesday or did I just imagine that?
- Oh, I need to pick up the drycleaning on the way home and get milk from the store.
Wasn’t I supposed to accept balance in my life and be calm and stuff. But, then I had to stop and think. “Balance” wasn’t the same as “calm”. Being calm is being quiet and peaceful. Balancing means holding multiple responsibilities together at the same time. I had “balance”, and very occasionally that “balance” leads to something that might be defined as “calm” or “peace”.
So, I’m being to recognize that its not as much that I need balance in my life, but that I really I need to learn to accept that with kids, work, a dog and a hundred real and imagined expectations, balance is going to be a noisy, raucous business.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to show Billy how to make a fire without burning everything down.