Balance. What is it? How do you know when you have found it? How do you keep it?
I think the idea of living a life of “balance” is bogus. The idea of holding the pose of balance day and night is appealing, however I often fail.
When I see “balance” as a way of life, it does not feel right or even realistic. Does that mean I am supposed to never fall off the beam? What happens when my nicely scheduled week is thrown under the bus because my husband sustains an injury? Or my grandfather dies? Or I get offered an incredible contract and have to get to work on it ASAP? Or my kids are sick? Or their behaviour starts to go off the rails and they clearly need some more time at home as a family? Or more structure?
And God forbid I get sick!!!
Sometimes life feels like I am balancing on one foot on a balance beam and the universe is chucking balls of all different shapes and sizes at me. Do I just stop catching them? Or do I keep catching all that I can? What if one of those balls is a job offer that pays way more than I ever imagined however I am gone from my family? Or what if it is the illness of a child?
Maybe my view of balance is the thing that needs to change…
Viewing self-care and balance as everything flowing lovely is beautiful… And at the same time makes me gag (just a little bit). As a mom, a business owner, a social worker, a ranch wife and many other things, I am constantly living in the push pull of staying in “balance” and “doing what it takes”.
What if they are meant to work together as opposed to separate? What if balance isn’t necessarily clocking out at 5 every day? What if it is scheduling some regular self-care, and what if it’s more? What if it’s recognizing when we are starting to struggle juggling everything and stepping back. Being okay when I drop all of the balls because my children really need me. Being okay to let the opportunities fly by that don’t fit with my heart and my life.
What if being in balance is just as much about taking care of ourselves when we are out of balance as maintaining being in it.
During one recent episode I had where I was being hard on myself for falling out of balance yet again, someone introduced the idea of the swing of a pendulum. There is a balance point, and sometimes we are in it, and sometimes we are not.
It felt like permission to “do what it takes” and want “balance”. Permission to some days become consumed with business and others strictly with being a mother. And sometimes, when I am sick, the “do what it takes” and “balance” are asking for help and taking real care of myself. Moms and business owners are not allowed to take days off… However sometimes our bodies and souls require us to. And that is okay.
The climb back onto the beam is just as significant as holding the pose… Perhaps the climb is where we really grow.