I can’t believe I’ve written fifty posts within the “musings” section of my blog and not written about balance. Maybe it’s because I didn’t feel the need. Maybe I needed to have more balance in my life before doing so. Or maybe I just didn’t think about it until now.
It’s Popular, This Balance Idea
The idea of balance is very popular these days. We live busy lives and it seems to be what we all want more of—a balance in our personal and professional lives. There’s articles, television shows, blogs, books and everything in between that tell how we can achieve it. The very nature of what defines balance is, well, kind of like perfection—if we ever do “get there,” you can be certain, it’s not going to be for very long. Like perfection, it’s an allusion.
Balance: To keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall and this: An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
Nothing can stay the same, stable, upright. Life is messy, fluid, ever-changing. Just when we think we’ve got a handle on everything and we’re humming along, something comes along that makes us stumble, slip or fall until we can get back up and find our balance again.
I believe in striving toward balance but each of us has a definition of exactly what that is, what it means, how it feels. It’s as individual as a fingerprint.
So, I’ve learned if I try to ascribe to some perfect, zen-like definition of balance, I’m just going to end up feeling as if there’s something wrong with me because I’m not one of those who can sit in calm serenity for hours.
I read Eat, Pray, Love soon after the book came out. Remember the passages about her sitting in silence and not moving for hours—finding that perfect balance—that stillness? Really??
I went to about thirty classes of Bikram Yoga (that sweaty kind) a few years ago before I gave it up. All I ever felt was dread (before I went), dizzy and hot (while trying to twist my slippery body into unnatural poses) and really pissed off afterwards because I was SO hot and could NEVER get to that state the instructor kept assuring me (in a quiet singsong voice) I would if I would just REE-lease, REE-lax.
That obviously wasn’t going to be where I found my balance. But others did and they seem so serene.
What was I missing?
Life is One Big Balancing Act
Maybe all this balancing stuff is just about finding moments where you feel your balance. Being grateful. Handling tough situations with grace and wisdom when they happen along, as they always do, throughout life.
To me, balance is not getting overly upset about the small stuff. It’s accepting the fact that some times my professional and/or personal life is going have some way ups and some way downs.
Sometimes it can feel as if I’m walking on a tightrope – one wrong move and uh-oh, I got to start all over again. Other times it’s a simple act of balancing, like walking with a book on my head. If the book falls off, I just pick it up and get on with things.
The next time I watch some program that makes me feel as if I don’t have this balancing thing down or I read some book about how I have to do this or that to achieve it, I’m just going to send these people a psychic hug or a quiet wish of lighten up, we’re all the same here. Balancing this and that. Getting it right and getting it wrong.
In the meantime, in those moments when I decide YES, I’m going to have that perfect dessert and feel that ahh-hh, so good. That’s my balance. Or when I exercise and feel that adrenaline rush instead of dread or pain, that’s my balance.
Or drink a cup of incredible coffee in the morning before I begin worrying or scurrying, that’s my balance.
But seriously, I am going to try the Yoga thing again, but without all that sweat.
Happy Monday everyone. How do you define balance?