Balance

On balance, then.

What we have come to think about balance, of equal parts work and play and rest and love and parenting and cubicles and zoos and coffee and gym? What we have come to think about the balancing of these activities, of these roles, of these doings is wrong.

Do you want balance? Peek at your morning so far. Look at your day. I’m willing to bet you’ve had highs (just enough eggs in the fridge!) and lows (where are the keys?), and it’s what, 9am? Highs and lows already? Do you know what I think that’s called?

Yes. I think that is called balance.

I think that’s called the low bringing down the high. I think that’s called the high bringing up the low.

Up and down.

Up and down.

The emotional seesaw of a woman. Can we allow ourselves to call this, in some strange form, balance?

Balance is not the idea that we will be peaceful, steady, calm as we flit about our activities for the day. Balance is not the understanding that we will be Up! at the zoo and Up! at the cubicle and Up! at the gym, and that we won’t fall down until it’s Down time, until we crawl into bed and we pull the curtains shut and we fall asleep with the book on our chest.

No, that cannot be balance. That is, simply, Up.

And while I don’t love the Down, while I realllllly don’t love when I yell in the Down, I love it for what it teaches. I love it for what it brings.

Fields are planted in the Down. Roads are built in the Down. Bridges are broken, then mended, then built stronger in the Down.

And so.

I’m working on letting the lows be low and the highs be high, without criticism or blame. And at the end of the day when we catch our breath, when we welcome the night, when we regain our footing from the ups and downs and we have found that we haven’t yet needed to vomit over the handrails, we can simply say of this thing called balance:

We have seen it.

We have ridden it.

It was there.

It is here.

It is passing.

And good night.

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