From the desk of...

Balance…

Balance is a tricky thing.
Today I stood on one foot trying to shake the gravel out of my other shoe in the middle of a sandy wet busy playing field at recess… I balanced.
The figurative balance, though, is more elusive. In the last week I have tried to balance work life (busy), home life (my son stuck a bead up his nose which warranted a trip to the doctor, and my daughter has been running a fever for seven days which warranted another trip to a different doctor…), personal life (I know I have a wonderful husband but I haven’t seen him awake this week…), and adult life (two friends have lost and buried loved ones and I haven’t even sent a card…). Mix in half a dozen extracurriculars (track, choir, verb conjugation club, dance, piano, one field trip, one birthday party and plain old homework…) with my own needs (for sleep, excercise, healthy eating and maybe even a book to read) and the balance problem becomes apparent. This isn’t even close to balanced. This is circus school.

Words of wisdom:

“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us.  If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” (Euripedes)

“One has to find a balance between what people need from you and what you need for yourself.” (Jessye Norman)

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it.  I want to have lived the width of it as well.” (Diane Ackerman)

“We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.  We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.  And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.” (Psalm 39: 6-7)

“The meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away.” (Pablo Picasso)

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.” (Thomas Merton)

“So divinely is the world organized that every one of us, in our place and time, is in balance with everything else.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down ‘happy’.  They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.” (John Lennon)

So now what?

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Easier said than done, right? What brings balance will not be the same for you as it is for me – my world is balanced with time. Time is the most precious thing, because there is a finite amount and I don’t know how much. For me, balance comes from thinking “What do I want to do with the time I have? What can I accomplish with the resources at hand?” I think the people closest to me would add a word of caution here: what can be done and what should be done might not be the same. Sometimes a momentary pause is necessary to see that putting energy in a different direction might be more worthwhile- and that might be just the thing to bring balance back to the whole.

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Take time. I am wishing for a balanced moment for each of us today; so that we can stand back, take a breath, and see clearly what is possible. I hope that moment helps to bring balance to your daily life, just as I am working toward the same balance in mine!

… in honour of Balance, tonight’s poem:

This is a list of
Firsts and lasts:
Like how much
You get from the
First root beer Popsicle, and
Everyone after is
Just not the same;
Whether love lasts
After one person goes;
Distances to and
Distances from the
Top of the page
To the bottom;
Time that it takes to
Make a list of
Firsts and
Lasts
Fast.

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