How do you achieve perfect balance in your life? Is it even possible? How can you live in a state of harmony when family life consists of one dramatic adventure after another?
The constant struggle to not tip over the edge requires symmetry, like when a bad event happens you need a good event to pull you out of the pit. Symmetry, or balance, is what keeps us afloat, I think, even if it’s sometimes hard to recognize.
To be clear, I’m not talking about catastrophic events here. Battling cancer, a fire that destroys someone’s home, a tragic accident leaving someone dead or paralyzed, those are not the things I’m talking about. I’m talking about simple, day-to-day chaos, the daily turmoil we go through when micro-managing kids and school and housework and jobs and food and mud and a thousand other things that keep us frazzled at times.
My zodiac sign is Libra, which is portrayed as the symbol of a balance. When I feel my life is proportionate, I feel like I can tackle anything. Sick kid, dog puking, homework, mortgage rates, renovations, weather, bills, paper and no wine in the house? No problem if the other kid is not sick, the dog isn’t choking, the homework is completed with minimal complaint, the mortgage rates drop, the renovations are on time, the weather shows signs of improving, the bills are turned into e-bills, the paper gets picked up by the recycling truck and the liquor store is a five minute drive from the school and open until 9 pm.
I reflected on my life this morning thinking about all the little events that happen as I navigate through this parenting journey. Sometimes I get stressed out about things and feel like my outlook is just hopeless. Same old drudgery, which just bogs me down. There have been times when I go to bed 10 minutes after Sonja does, and just tune out by reading or watching TV. I have been known to go to sleep at 9 pm simply because I just wanted the damn day to end.
But sooner or later, the balance tips back into equalization. Sooner or later, things turn around, either because of my own efforts, or maybe something external and beyond my control happened. I have no control over the state of mortgage rates, but the fact that they are dropping like crazy at a time when we have to renew our mortgage, well this is great news and helps to tip the balance up a bit. This in turn helps me to stay focused, and positive, on the potential renovations (we’re considering adding a second story on our bungalow) which in turn energizes me to keep purging more stuff, which in turn keeps me moving rather than sitting in front of the computer all day…
The balance is proportionate at the moment. I like that, it makes me feel good. It also puts me in a more positive state of mind when I can visualize my own negativity and how destructive this can be. Negativity is so easy to ‘catch’ from other people, and it can be downright crippling. But if the balance of life is proportionate, I suddenly seem to have clearer vision. How I choose to see something is just as effective as what reality sometimes dishes out. And if the drama of the day suddenly doesn’t appear to be so lousy anymore…
On my way back from school this morning, I realized I was still carrying Ben’s lunch. I forgot to give it to him because I was chatting with someone and walked all the way home with the lunch bag strapped to my back. So I drove it to school and dropped it in the lunchroom for him. Then I drove to the bakery.
On the way to the bakery I saw the baker’s wife walking. Her children go to the same school as my kids, and I know she goes to the shop to help out her husband while the kids are in school. I stopped and offered her a lift. We had a lovely chat. She was very thankful for ride, and I was happy to have gotten to know her better. She disappeared into the back of the shop and I treated myself to a delicious organic coffee and a freshly baked almond croissant.
Suddenly she appears beside my table. She offers me a little card that you can stamp. Each time you purchase a coffee you get a stamp and after so many stamps are collected, you get a free coffee. The card she handed me had the top of the two rows fully stamped already. And she absolutely insisted I take it, even though it had been my pleasure to give her a lift.
It’s these little events that make my balance proportionate, and in perfect harmony. And the fact that fresh, organic coffee is in my immediate future is a little bonus that keeps my balance balanced. 🙂