Nov
19

Balance is not my strong suit. I’m often running late because I’m trying to finish eight things at once. I live by multiple to-do lists (that I often ignore). And I tip over a lot. Balance and I are barely on speaking terms, though we do make a show of having a relationship for birthdays and holidays.

It’s only been over the last year or so that I’ve decided balance is not all it’s cracked up to be. No matter how hard I try (and I do) I’m just not able to bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan … besides my husband isn’t the type to just have a mental break and forget he’s a man. Don’t get me wrong, I am seriously impressed with people who can achieve balance. You know, those women (yeah, I know there’s men doing it too, but I’m not really striving to be like them, OK?) who manage to be at all the school functions, make brownies, send out handmade Christmas cards, look like models and run their own businesses. I’m not one of them. I’m more the type they make fun of because I forget to take my slippers off before driving my son the four blocks to school. I’m the one who brings Ho-Ho’s to the potluck and uses preprinted labels on my store-bought Christmas cards – when I remember to send them before St. Patrick’s Day.

My goal is no longer balance (where’s my 12-step program?). Instead of trying to give the four major areas of my life (fiction writer, owner of a writing services biz, mother, wife) each 25% of my passion all the time, I’m working at giving each 100%, but in small doses. I want to be 100% lost in a story when I’m writing a novel. I want to be 100% accessible and committed to a client when I’m writing his nonfic book. I want to be 100% present when I’m playing with my son. And I want my husband to know 100% of how I feel about him, with or without bacon.

None of that even includes my other roles: friend, aunt, daughter, citizen, rabble-rouser, teacher, student, sister, mentor, mentee, cheerleader, environmentalist, virtual-whatever, awkward maker of small talk, let alone just the me who lives only in my head. I’m not doing the math to see how fragmented that level of balance would be. Math is even harder than the elusive balance. Instead I’m going to keep working on my little moments of 100%s. And I am going to feel good about every 100%, rather than averaging in my failures. Some equations cannot be balanced. Or maybe it’s just that the math is beyond me. Regardless, I’m making it easy and just concentrating on moments. Because if I totally screw it up, there’ll be another one right behind it, and maybe I’ll get that one right.

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9 Responses
  1. Stef says:

    Must be genetic. Do you remember the time I wore my slippers to a meeting with Joe Crowly? (My car was broken again and Mom gave me a ride to UNR for the meeting). I din’t realize I was still in slippers until i was walking actross the quad.

  2. Rob ... ert says:

    Did you ever consider that your struggle for a seemingly-unattainable sense of balance may be the key ingrediant that makes you interesting and creative?

  3. Melissa says:

    You sound absolutely successful to me. Mindfulness, loving your life, and giving 100 percent to whoever/whatever you’re with. What more is there? Pre-printed labels–of course! I don’t even send out cards
    unless someone sends it first. Perfection is boring.

    http://www.mtholyoke.edu/offices/comm/oped/Quindlen.shtml

  4. I like the 40/60 math in the Billy May quote. I’m impressed that you have a Billy May quote.

  5. Des says:

    The upside of bad math is that everything adds up just right, like this post–

    • Cindie says:

      Last night, at a friend’s birthday party, I overheard a former math professor lamenting that students got too caught up in the “right” answer. They didn’t know how to think or question or be creative. I stopped listening then, content in the idea that my lack of math skills is simply evidence of other talents.

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Cindie Geddes

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