//on finding balance

The dictionary defines balance as ‘an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.’ When I use the word balance, I usually envision a juggler – doing as many things as possible without letting any of the balls drop, because dropping a ball means failure. If I write up that long-awaited blog post, edit several chapters, and work on a commission, but realize I forgot to respond to that one Facebook message? Failure.

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It’s that last word in the definition that gets me. Steady. Strangely, I don’t usually correlate ‘balance’ and ‘steady.’ Steady implies some kind of calm, of peace that isn’t rushing to get everything done and be everything everyone thinks I am. It implies tranquility. Juggling is hardly tranquil, and I find that when I fall into the mindset of Balance = Juggling Without Dropping the Ball, I’m anything but tranquil. Even if I seem calm on the outside, inside I’ve hollowed myself out and replaced vital organs with to-do lists and check-marks.

This isn’t to say productivity isn’t a good thing. It’s a very good thing; and when I’m not productive, I’m not happy. But there’s a difference between productivity and constant stress. In fact, I’m far more productive when I’m relaxed – and the end result of my productivity is better because I’m able to put my soul into it.

I think finding real balance means realizing the idea of balance is a fluid thing. I tend to think of balance as a straight line down the middle of my life, pointing toward Perfection – but this is not an accurate illustration. Balance changes and shifts depending on where I am. Some days I have the energy to finish two art commissions, write a chapter, edit a chapter, write a blog post for my blog and another website I write for, and spend time with people I love. Other days, if I attempted to do all that, I’d be burned out. Some days balance means sitting at my desk and writing steadily, other days it means spending a day in Atlanta with my mom and sister.

Balance is not a fixed point, and finding my balance is something I need to do every day and every day again. So here’s to balance, and discovering it anew each morning.

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5 thoughts on “//on finding balance

  1. This is true! I think one of the hardest parts of life is finding balance. It impacts how we function, how we feel, how others feel around us, and I think we have something of an obligation to the people we spend time with to find that balance in our own lives.

    Right now, there is no balance in my life (18 credit hours, work, and the random things that pop up do that to ya) and I’m missing that. I don’t know that I ever had a balanced life before, but now that I don’t have the ability to fix something, I wish I did. xD

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