Saturday, February 3, 2007

Balancing Act

Many nights, late in the evening, I hang out here at my computer, wandering aimlessly in blogland while Jim snores peacefully in front of the television out in the family room, and the puppies sleep curled up on the bed behind me, nestled in their blankets. I love meandering through the worlds and minds of other women, reading about their yearnings, their creative dreams, their struggle to overcome illness or grief. They inspire me, they provoke me, they make me gasp, and sometimes even cry.

Invariably, I come across something that jabs at my psyche, that speaks to me quite profoundly at whatever stage or mood I'm in. It's kind of like the game where you spin a globe, close your eyes, and point to the place you're going to take your next vacation. I can be just clicking along, following one trail of bloggers to the next, like Gretel following bread crumbs in the woods. And then, a comment or a photo will hit me, and I stop and read words that resonate in my heart, words that evoke a resounding Yes! in my spirit, words that I could have written myself.

It happened just now, actually. I ran across this post, on a blog I've never read before.
The writer was responding to an earlier post of her own, in which she discussed the difficulty she was experiencing maintaining a balance between all her responsibilities as a mother, wife, writer, worker, woman...all of the many hats we women try to keep on our heads throughout the day. The realization she came to, and the one that was my light bulb moment for tonight, was that balance is overrated. Life has to be a little messy for us to test ourselves, to allow ourselves to grow and change.

That's a hard thing for me - little miss perfect. I like to have all my ducks lined up in a row, a nice tidy schedule for my day (every day), and a nice tidy atmosphere to go about my day in.
I have noticed, however, that some of the most creative people I know are also (quite literally as well as figuratively) the messiest. As I have been exploring my own creativity during this past year, I've found the rest of my life becoming a little bit messier. I've been fighting that all along, thinking I should be able to keep all the other aspects of my life orderly and precise, and maybe that isn't possible when you start allowing your mind out of the confining box it's been in and letting it do a some wandering into other neighborhoods.

I have become quite comfortable with the idea of allowing myself to be messy in terms of creative work, of letting myself play with words on the page and not expecting them to be perfect, of trying out some art and craft projects, and being happy with whatever the results are because I've had fun in the process. Perhaps I can try and extend this idea into the rest of my life as well, and not worry so much about getting all the laundry done each weekend, or having all my work reports written two days ahead of schedule, or going to the gym every Monday, Thursday, and Friday. Maybe right now, the best balance for me is just being satisfied with life in general, enjoying and expanding my creative pursuits, and not constantly worrying that I'm not doing enough to keep everything running perfectly smoothly.



Blogger paris parfait said...

Well I'm just not organised enough to be balanced, try as I might. But I always strive for some sort of balance - otherwise life would get too out of control! Great post, Becca. Stop by "On Paris Time" and toss your name in the hat. xo

Anonymous bella said...

I've been looking and striving for balance my entire adult life. Then, last year, I decided to step out of my boxes, and try doing my normal daily things differently. I started reading new bloggers, I started journaling, I found a new circle of friends. In the process, I lost the desire to find the perfect balance. I'm not just a mom, I am many things. I will never have my many hats hung in order, but I'm just happy to have those hats to juggle.
This was a great post Becca, it gave me a lot to think about.

Blogger Shaz said...

Jen is so gorgeous her words of wisdom resonate with me as do yours Really enjoying at the moment, Thanks :)

Blogger Tammy said...

I'm too anal about order to let my life get messy. LOL May you find YOUR balance ;)I was thinking about my Florida friends and hope everyone is ok. HUGS

Blogger Darlene said...

Your words resonate with me and I relate to trying to be perfect. We can only do this for so long until we realize that our definition of 'balance' has expectations that are highly over rated.

Besides...being a little unbalanced can bring surprises :)

Now we just have to learn to like the surprises (something difficult for me *wink*)

XOXO Darlene

Blogger Star said...

I'm not so worried about the scales being balanced, but I have been trying to make sure that the right things (the things that ultimately mean the most to me) are getting the lion's share of my attention.

The messiness I have allowed to creep into my housekeeping caught up with me today. We are having friends over for dinner tomorrow night, so today was a day of cleaning, putting away (or out of sight), and laundry for the work week ahead. Not what I would ideally like to be doing, but it feels good to have everything in its place once again.

Anonymous Sally said...

People should read this.


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