Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Finding the right balance

Is is possible to find the right balance in life? I am a wife and mother of two awesome children, but is there a balance between being those two things and being myself? Can I balance family life with solitude? Can I balance the blessings of a home, more food than we need to eat, a more than sufficient income, and all that comes with a life of privilege with the desperate poverty, hunger, and ravaging illnesses that plague our world? What about finding the balance between being my true and authentic self and keeping up the masks of perfection and contentment and grace and elegance that I so want the world to see? I love how Sabrina Ward Harrison talks through the process of spilling open, of not trying to meet the unreasonably high expectations she sets for herself. Sometimes we give ourselves a break, but most of the time we don't. How do we find the right balance? Plus there's the issue of food. I am glad to say that I love ice cream and chocolate bars and Cherry Coke and licorice and toasted bagels with sausage, egg, and butter. I eat and drink them all - in moderation. But I also love organic baby green salad (does that count when I put Good Seasons dressing on it?) and edamame and yerba mate tea with organic raw brown sugar and raw veggies and organic cleaning and laundry products. Do the organic soaps outweigh the non-organic pitchers of sweet tea I drink? Does the Kiss My Face soap outweigh the MAC make-up I wear in unabashed attempts to look younger than I am? These are questions that I think about, ways in which I see the contradictions in myself. And while I'm glad I see them and think about them, I just wish they'd all go away. I want to ask my various and sundry hypocritical choices and inexplicable contradictions, "Why can't we all just get along?"

A very good friend of mine sent me a letter yesterday asking how we find time to be who we are when everyone around us wants and needs affirmation to be who they are? In my response, I ask her a question. How do we gently and kindly say to the others, "I need a break. When are you gonna listen to my rantings and ravings? When do I get to stomp my feet and go slam my door and hide in my room for a while? Who listens when Mom needs to pour out what's ailing her?" How do we as mothers find the balance?

I wish I lived closer to her. We'd drink lots of tea together, burn more candles, laugh - and do laundry at the same time. And cook dinner at the same time. And bake cookies all the while. Then we would tell our own stories, compare our wounds, and celebrate the victories. Celebrate the moments when we find our balance.

Care to share a few tales of your own? A few tips on tipping the scales of life towards balance???

Grace and peace, Gail

2 comments:

jyll said...

My dear Gail,
the good and bad news of it all is, what you have described is the balance. The balance you are searching for, or better yet the balance that life has to offer is never static. It is always being tipped this way or that with that extra slice of apple crumble or extra ten minutes on the phone with a dear friend. It is a dance that I believe you have a natural rhythm for. So feel free to spin and twirl with all of the ups and downs and embrace all of the beautiful imperfections along the way.

Hugs and kisses,
Jyll

jyll said...

My dear Gail,
the good and bad news of it all is, what you have described is the balance. The balance you are searching for, or better yet the balance that life has to offer is never static. It is always being tipped this way or that with that extra slice of apple crumble or extra ten minutes on the phone with a dear friend. It is a dance that I believe you have a natural rhythm for. So feel free to spin and twirl with all of the ups and downs and embrace all of the beautiful imperfections along the way.

Hugs and kisses,
Jyll