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.

  • Love this perspective on balance. Expecting life and emotion to always flow smoothly, especially with kids, is unrealistic and discouraging. And, for me too, many of the beautiful lessons I have learned in this life would not exist without the down. Thanks for sharing your wisdom :).

  • Erin! How are you always saying what I need to hear, when I need to hear it? I think it is a kind of magic.
    (Also, and on a much more banal note – where is that gorgeous “no whining” print from? it is vey very lovely, and a little bit wise.)
    Huge thanks as always for sharing your sweet cleverness.

  • so so good. thank you for always just putting it out there in a conversational way. your voice is beautiful and yours and so many are blessed by how you share it. little shout-out to this post in particular on inspo…

  • I feel a little Jekyll/Hyde some days and cringe that Forrest seems to take that as normal (maybe because he can be the same?), but now I’ll try to see it from your perspective – there will be highs, there will be lows, let go of the criticism and blame (and keep living the Love). Hugs!

    • Amen, Jamie! And ha, I’m always wondering if Bee will grow up thinking it’s normal to have a basketcase mama. But wait, I think it is! :)

  • This is just what I needed to hear. I found u through melody joy tonight, and finding balance is something I working on. Thank u for ur words!

  • Brilliant.

    You’ve been gifted a brilliant mind for thinking out these thoughts.
    I see my kids as this kind of balance, you know? Everyday holds a tantrum, a cry, a belly laugh, a wild run, a push the boundaries, a snuggle. They fall asleep with peace in their bodies because they sit fully on the seat of the see-saw- the waaay up and the waay down. May we live into that acceptance of balance, all of us!!

  • Reading your writing is such a refuge for me…so thankful and so needed on this Monday

    Scrolling through lots of posts and reminding myself to visit more frequently

    Thank you for your words!

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