This blog attempts to answer my friend's question...
"Balance, hahaha, what's that?"
Seriously though...What is that?
Lots of people talk about balance, but it's always in the context of searching for it...
People will comment that they "need to hit the gym more," or "spend more time with my family," or "eat a healthier diet," or "concentrate on work," etc.
They'll then end their comment with a guilt ridden sigh, and say something like, "Gosh...I just wish I could find a balance."
Well, here's my take...You ARE balancing.
When I think of balance, I think of someone on a tight rope.
If you've ever balanced on a tight-rope, or a slackline, you know that it is not a passive activity. It's not like you just step onto a tight rope, find your balance, and then trot along effortlessly like you're on a sidewalk.
When you balance, you're constantly recognizing the moments you are off course, and making slight corrections to get yourself re-centered over the line. The thrill of a tight rope comes from the constant string of moments we notice that we are slightly OUT of balance.
Oxford defines balance in this way: "to keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall."
By that definition, if you have not fallen, you ARE balancing.
Sure, you may feel a bit off to one side or the other occasionally, but THAT'S WHAT BALANCING IS!
I think we should be okay with that. More than that, I think it should be thrilling (like a tight rope is thrilling).
There are times when we spend a little extra time at work (and get something awesome done). There are times when we do a little more exercise than laundry (and set a PR...High Fives!!!). There are times when we spend so much time with our families that we've let our good and purpose-driven occupations slip (but made incredible memories in the process).
It will always be uncomfortable when we bump up against the edges of our balanced position, but part of the thrill of life is finding the edges of our balance. As long as your spiritual, relational, or economic life has not fallen apart...YOU ARE BALANCING.
My encouragement is to celebrate your active state of balancing (instead of sighing and feeling guilty).
In the words of Dr. Seuss:
"...be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life's a great balancing act."
Staying upright takes good decisions and a knowledge of where you should be centered, but it's still a balancing act. We'll always be finding the edges, and pulling ourselves back in.
Keep balancing my friends :)
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P.S. If you haven't read the book "Oh, the Places You'll Go" as an adult, you can do so with this link. Just don't get all teary eyed like I always do. Frickin' Dr. Seuss gets me every time...
Also, a fancy new jump rope can be a great addition to your balancing act. Click below to make that happen!