A Balanced Life?
There was talk at the Skagway North Words writing symposium about "balance," as in leading a balanced life-- you know-- one devoted to art and literature and observing the world around us-- play, friends, family-- outdoors, silence, time, and space. Saving the world. Saving your soul. You get the idea. The feeling is, especially among women, I think, that we need to find ways to balance the obligations we have to our children and spouses, families, and job-- with the life we want to lead, that is somehow just for us. I was thinking about this on my bike ride today, as well as training for the big race which is in two weeks. I have a book deadline looming, my father is visiting, the family are almost all here for the summer (and the winter for that matter)-- and it is growing fast-- what with grand-babies Caroline, Lani, and Ivy-- and there are chicks in the coop, tomatoes in the greenhouse, Pearl wants a walk, Dad wants the sun screen, and Leo the Logger is out back with a chainsaw thinning the trees that shade the garden. When I asked him to be careful and leave a few, Leo said (in a very nice way), "I didn't know you were a tree hugger." There is no chance I can balance so many weighty juggling pins on my head, shoulders, knees, back, bottoms of my feet-- whatever. I just don't have enough flat surfaces to put them all on. So I decided the biggest thing to drop right now is the notion of "balance." Forget it. I am embracing my inner see-saw. Letting the bottom sink and the top soar. I'm focusing on being all there for each event, person, task, observation. Is this what they mean by living fully in the moment? This morning, after I prayed my mental rosary (Hail Mary's for all my family members), I left every other thought behind and pedaled hard for two hours. If I don't do anything else well for the rest of the day, at least I have accomplished that much. I realize that by only looking in one direction at a time, I may miss some great sights, but my hope is that at the very least I'll appreciate the one I'm seeing right now, more.