Balance is bullshit. There. I said it.
I have tried. Really. I have given it the “old college” try. Hell, I’ve even given it the “I’ve grown humans! I can do this!” try. Balance, for me, is an intangible.
In the secret hidden places within my imagination I wake up every morning before the sun. I exercise—a perfect mixture of strenuous body rectifying challenge and mind-body restoration. I always eat foods chalked full of nutrition and made at home on my scheduled “food prep” day. I regularly clean floors on Monday and toilets on Wednesday. Laundry is done on its designated day too—washed, dried, and neatly put away with the assistance of my well-mannered, respectful, and responsible children. I go to work each day and I am amply productive. I consistently contribute brilliant ideas and deliver on every task. When I grocery shop and pick up all the household items, it’s from a list…that I’ve made…because I only buy what we need and forgetting things…well, that’s not a problem for someone so balanced. I negotiate afternoon and evening activities for my three children with ease—we have a schedule and a plan, and we are prepared. I revel in bedtime stories and nighttime snuggles. Before I rest, I have me time. This too is a perfect mixture of time for my preferred activities and quality time with my husband. I read, write, watch documentaries and still find time to complete a five-step beauty regimen that will keep my skin looking flawless at 65. I have a romance novel worthy sex-life paralleled by a spiritual life Jesus himself would give nod to. My head hits the pillow before 10PM, and I’m ready to do it all over again at 5AM.
Recapping my life is more like a concussed memory of previous hours, days, and weeks mumbled together in a yin-yang haze of productivity accompanied with stress and exhaustion accented with impotent couch wallowing. All of which somehow strangely makes me feel like I have much to be happy about and edifies the fact that I am most certainly alive…perhaps I could be even happier…if…if… I’m too tired and/or distracted with the here and now (like pooping toddlers, budding pre-teens, and mountains of laundry) to contemplate that particular quandary. Things seem to be working most of the time, and there is the miraculous invention of wine….and the occasional day where I don’t wear a bra, eat sugar in every form, and binge watch Netflix. Life is perhaps unbalanced, but it is still good.
Here’s the thing.
I was equally as busy with one child as I am with three. I was equally as busy when I was a stay at home mom as I am am now working full-time. Mom-life is busy. Period.
But you know what? Life before kids was busy. Hell, even single life was busy.
Because people who love life, fill it. People who are alive, are busy living.
If every day were smooth, polished, predictable…perfectly balanced…each day would also be ghastly boring. I don’t remember what it is to feel bored. I’ve a keen understanding of the emotional spectrum from depressed all the way through the pendulum to euphoric…but bored isn’t a stop on the life train for me. I’m starting to think balanced isn’t either.
And maybe that’s okay. When I step back and really assess that balanced picture playing in my imagination, it seems hauntingly similar to boring. And dangerously close to unrealistic. With no space for puking children, ambitious new projects, late-night philosophical hot-tub discussions, or entire days devoted to finishing a book…I’m not sure I like the idea of perfect balance. There is definitely no room in that daydream for an impromptu meet up with my mom friends…and it would be shameful to let good vodka and wine, let alone great company, go to waste.
Life is messy…and crazy…and yes…busy…and most definitely unbalanced. And it is those things which make it unpredictably beautiful. I’m ready to embrace it.
That is not to say I’m out to be busy(er). I endeavor to simply recognize I am busy. Just like every other person I know. And I’m not advocating for the “busy life = important life” mentality. I’m acknowledging the time as come…
I am ready to forgo resisting the fact that life is wild, unpredictable, and often in disarray. I’m going to throw my hands in the air and ride this rollercoaster. Sometimes my cart will clickety-clack up a steep hill at a snail’s pace. Sometimes it will careen around corners at warp drive speed. And other times, it will be thrown upside-down and I’ll have to deal with the altered reality of a forced new perspective. In all of this—the slow struggles, fast changes of direction, free falls, and complete mind-altering loopdeyloos—it’s likely I’ll never be balanced.
I’m over being balanced…I’m comfortably unbalanced.