The last time I wrote about "Balance" I was not very kind to her. In fact I titled the post "F*ck Balance". Eek.
Here are a few bits from that post:
"Balance... I'm done with you. I'm done obsessing with you, striving for you, feeling like I'm no good when I can't achieve you. Maybe some people can seek you and feel good about it, but for me (a recovering perfectionist) it just feels like I never can get you right."
And now as a mother I find my world always just a bit askew. My kids are a teensy bit older now so things are way better (and by better I mean easier) than they were four years ago or even two. Now I have time to write, I go on walks alone (every once in a while anyway), I regularly teach Hypnobabies, and I actually COOK meals (sometimes) And yet... I still find myself trying to catch even a glimpse of you in my days. But you remain ever elusive. My plan changes daily. I will get up early and walk. No, I will get up early and do yoga. No, I'll stay up late and write. Every day the book I'm (not) writing is in the back of my mind. Every day I think, I need to exercise more! Every day I feel like I need to give more to my kids only to realize I'm wanting to give more to myself.
I think that there are a lot of really worthwhile thoughts and feelings in that post. But maybe it wasn't "Balance" that was at fault. Perhaps it was my idea of what balance is and conflating balance with some kind of perfect destination. Yes, I was definitely conflating "balance" with "perfection." But recently watching my daughter compete on the balance beam gave me a fresh outlook on this word I felt so strongly about 8+ years ago.
The balance beam is an event that always has us on pins and needles. Will the athlete fall? We cheer for them when they fight to stay on the beam, feel intense, vicarious disappointment when they do fall and awe when they nail a routine that 99.9% of us can't even imagine doing on the ground.
Watching my daughter do all of these things made me realize - balance isn't a destination, it is a constant practice. Good yoga instructors tell us the same thing - when we practice yoga our balance varies day to day - some days we are like statues and others we can't stay upright on one leg for the life of us! And think about elite gymnasts who train as a full time job - even they fall off the beam. No one is immune to losing their balance.
The reason I was so angry at the idea of Balance was because there are modern world challenges - especially for moms of young children - that make it very difficult to feel like you are ever close to a healthy balance. But that doesn't mean we should stop trying to find creative solutions to fill our cups while also taking care of our babies and loved ones at the same time.
If you lose your balance give yourself grace. Then pick yourself up, climb back up on that beam and try again. We're all cheering you on!
Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.