It's all about Balance . . .
Balance . . . . I had always perceived balance as an end outcome. It was a coveted goal that I aspired to achieve, albeit unsuccessfully! My recurrent and failed pursuits always resided on the presumption that once I finally reached that treasured state of existence, life would fall into a rhythmic harmony, . . . it would get easier . . . . . I suppose it was a bit of an idyllic notion, but it was as captivating to me as fairy tales and princesses are for my daughter ;)
What I failed to consider is that balance really isn't about having or achieving a tangible outcome. Balance isn't an objective state that I can quantify or measure. Rather, it's subjective. It's a feeling that I seek in the face of my fears, insecurities, and anxieties. Amidst the stress of managing countless (often competing) priorities, I am looking for reassurance that I am making the right decisions and doing the right things. I long for validation that I'm not failing at the roles and responsibilities that mean the most to me.
There is a bit of irony in how I stumbled across this lesson. .. . . . I lost my balance ~ literally and figuratively. I had reached a tipping point in my zealousness to "balance it all" and was finding that there just wasn't enough time to get everything done. I was working faster, sleeping less, prioritizing more, delegating when possible, you name the most efficient theories on time management and effective work habits, and I was implementing them! If balance was a tangible outcome, according to these theories and methods, I should have achieved that coveted state of equilibrium. Only, I didn't. Instead, I found a greater sense of discord as I realized the ebb and flow of what needed to be done did not evenly match the time that I had available . . . . it was becoming untenable . . . . . the level of urgency and priorities kept escalating . . . the balance that I was seeking seemed to be moving further and further from my reach :(
It was in the midst of this struggle and busyness that I found myself running behind schedule one Sunday night and I didn't want to be late to pick up the kids. It was in my race against the clock that I found myself sprawled across the sidewalk, It happened so suddenly, that I have no recollection if I tripped over a crack or if I simply stumbled!! Regardless, I quickly scrambled to my feet and tried to brush it off and chalk it up to my apparent lack of grace, but I noticed that the pain wasn't subsiding in my knee and I was having difficulty walking . . . . . . but, I was even later now and didn't really have time to change plans mid-stream, so I pushed through it and picked up the kids. It wasn't until we got back home that I knew something was wrong. The level of pain was intensifying and my mobility was rapidly deteriorating . . . . . . . it turns out that I tore one of the stabilizing ligaments in my knee. Thankfully, recovery does not entail surgery, but it does require consistent, diligent physical therapy exercises and I am restricted from running and a host of other activities until I've healed sufficiently.
It is through my recovery and diligent adherence to my PT exercises that I have discovered the importance of physical balance. Seemingly simple exercises have increased my awareness and sensitivity to the firing and release of the primary and supporting muscle groups that it takes to achieve and maintain balance. Its a dynamic process and there are continuous shifts and responses in an effort to balance and counterbalance, all in an effort to maintain a seemingly steady posture/balance. It's an exhausting exercise and just when I think that I have it "mastered", my physical therapist moves the exercise to balance on foam . . . . . . which adds a whole new appreciation for my ability to balance on a solid surface :)
While it took a few lessons to examine both the figurative and literal application of balance, I discovered that balance, as I had previously envisioned it, as a static end point, is a mythical state of being. The act of balancing is the continuous process of seeking harmony. Rather than fighting to chase after a moving target and getting disappointed that it's continuously out of reach, I simply need to recognize that achieving and maintaining balance is an active process that requires interactive responses and/or adaptations. Balancing is an art that deserves appreciation :) There isn't one right answer. There also isn't a magical solution that makes everything manageable. Choices may need to be made and constraints and limitations need to be respected. Ignoring them will only lead to a stumbling block of sorts and whenever we stumble, we are forced to reassess our position and goals ~ and, unfortunately, we don't always have control over the outcome or timeline to resume our position! My fingers are crossed that my healing is progressing and in a week or two I will be able to run again!!!! I can't wait to put this stumbling block behind me ;)