where wildly different is perfectly normal
Life balance pendulum
Life balance pendulum

Life balance pendulum

I have incredible physical balance. The rare times I do yoga (which kills me, because I love yoga…but my tendency to put off what I most enjoy is a completely different post), I’m able to balance all twisted up with no problem. Great physical balance.

Emotional, psychological, lifestyle, and mental balance I’m a fallen souffle of a mess. I try and fail. I trip and pick myself back up again. I fall and I get back on that damned horse. Scrapes and bruises and knots in my hair I keep going, even though the voices in my head chide me for failure.

See why my word this year is “strong?”

I overslept this morning. Badly. My alarm went off at 6, managed to crack an eye open long enough to take my thyroid meds, and fell back asleep to wait for the alarm at 6:30. The one that never went off. The result is that I shot out of bed in panic at 8 am. Less than an hour before I had to throw Riff and Raff out the door to school. No lunches made, no snacks prepared, thank GOD the new coffeepot I have named OHTHANKYOUTHANKYOUFORYOURLIFEGIVINGBREW was ready to go. All the stuff I had planned to do before they left for school has to be done now, kicking my gym time to the curb, with the hope and promise that I’ll get on the basement treadmill at some point today.

Off balance now. And struggling to get back to center, I simply throw the pendulum the other way.

While I know that balance just means getting stuff accomplished, with every little bit getting the focus over a long period of time, I can’t seem to break the habit of I Must Work On Everything In Some Way Every Single Day Or I’m A Failure. I have to blame this on my musical training: you MUST practice every single day or not only are you a failure but you lose ground. Add to that the constant mental reminder of “you’re only as good as your last performance,” and you’re in that practice room every single day unless you’re puking in a bucket and even then you find a practice room near the loo.

That’s “balance.” A little bit of everything every day, like trying a taste of everything from a buffet. Not healthy. When you try a taste of everything from a buffet, eventually your taste buds give up and nothing tastes good and you end up feeling sick. But a little variety on one day with a different variety on a different day and it’s all good. I know this, why can’t I implement it? Why must I still try to get nearly everything accomplished on ONE day? The very rare times I manage it, I’m so wiped the next day that the pendulum swings wildly to the other side and I get nothing done.

Things are really topsy-turvy here at the House of Chaos these days, more so than usual if you can believe it. If I can get through the next several months with my sanity and humor intact, then all will be well. It’s just getting to that point while keeping everything in balance, kinda like trying to carry a very full cup of hot coffee on a badly floundering cruise ship during a hurricane. Sadly, everything that needs to be done MUST all be done every day, or all at the same time, or in a very precise order with a very short timeline. It’s threatening to throw that pendulum around like the ball in a tennis match.

I’m strong, I know this despite the Greek chorus of voices in my head trying to convince me otherwise. I’ll find the balance and make it through this hurricane without spilling more than a few drops of that precious hot coffee. And the practice I get over the next few months balancing my emotional, psychological, lifestyle, and mental selves will only serve to make me stronger in the long run, so I’m as able to balance there as I am in yoga.

The pendulum will no longer swing wildly, but gently and smoothly.


  1. Benoit

    Suffering from some kind of perfectionism, hu ?

    Yes, you’re strong…but no need to make life harder, don’t you ?

    Balance is not in everything done but in choosing. And don’t forget to breathe, Jen, because you can’t live without 😉

  2. Super Anonymous

    First of all, this is a beautifully written post. Your writing shines!!!!

    Second of all, I know exactly what you’re talking about. Giving yourself permission to drop what needs to get dropped — and not beat yourself up about it — is so HARD.

    Sorry your day started out on the wrong foot. Hope it has progressed more positively…

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