Balance. First thing that comes to my mind is Montclair Elementary School’s obstacle course — back in the day — late 1960s and early 1970s. The routine is still in my mind, pretty much. Climb over the wall, climb up and then cross the horizontal ladder hand over hand, run the tops of the tires, and then balance/walk on the balance beam. It was about a foot off the ground. I don’t remember any of it being unattainable but, after the movements made to climb and hang/swing on that ladder, it took a minute to pull back the momentum and actually balance for the walk.
To me, it’s a great picture of life. We climb, we hang and still maneuver, we gingerly step over and on top of obstacles, and then we’re told we need to balance.
Is it possible?
We have momentum, adrenaline, a plan to guide us through and then someone steps in and advises us to balance. Is that a bad think to suggest? Maybe we are balancing well for our circumstance.
Looking back to the obstacle course — which we might equate to life — It took a certain amount of balance to climb the wall, hang from the horizontal ladder and get to the end of it, hand over hand, to the topping of the tires and walking the balance beam. (I’ve repeated myself so I know you are feeling this obstacle course.)
It takes balance every day to get through what we have to do. Work, live the single life, live the married life, a widowed life, raise a family, pay off debt, maintain cars and houses, take on full parenting when a spouse is out of town or we no longer have a spouse. It may not look picture perfect. And who drew that perfect picture standard, anyway? Somehow you do find a balance, your new normal, and it doesn’t look like the way everyone else does it or the way our grandparents did it.
The more we understand that our lives cannot be compared, our own balance will be easier. The best question someone asked me, a health coach to be exact, was this: What works for you and what do you need to do to make it work better?
She didn’t give me a plan but did give me resources after I explained what I felt was manageable. There were choices and none were bad. Manageable, moderated, likable, and rewarding choices; including things many think to be taboo when finding health and stability. We all have different life formulas that can give us a good result.
I picture my granddaughter working on a new task. She’s two and a half years old. We all could step in to show her the supposed right way but it’s just too rewarding to watch her work diligently and then proclaim, “I did it!”
Don’t beat yourself up over your life not looking like another person’s life. They may proclaim balance and that’s great. Just remember, you have your own obstacle course, you will finish, and with balance say, “I did it!”