What do I mean by “flux of life”?
From the Free Online Dictionary:
flux (flks) n. 1. a. A flow or flowing. b. A continued flow; a flood. 2. The flowing in of the tide
A few years ago I read a book called Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids and Life in a Half-Changed World by Peggy Orenstein. It chronicles how real women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s negotiate life in a world “only half-changed by feminism.” Each woman made different life choices, and each juggled personal and societal expectations. It helped me realize we are more similar than different as we navigate today’s world.
That word—flux—really resonates with me. I like it better than balance, which implies a perfect point we can find and sustain. Instead, I work on managing the changing flow. Like water, life is dynamic, fluid, and the flow will change in different seasons. Rather than fighting it, I need to learn to ride with it. Channel it. Or let it flow.
As a child, I anticipated a straight path to success. I was an ambitious girl, coming of age in the 80s, believing I could “do it all.” I dreamed of being queen of the corporate world and a beautiful family. Then reality rushed over me. In reality, my life has flux-ed through the seasons:
college: a river of rapids and whirlpools–turbulent, challenging, exciting, invigorating
20s/early marriage: forging a new stream, building my flow, enjoying a rising tide
working mom of two babies: an unexpected flood. trying to keep my head above water. struggling to balance. gratitude in surviving. reluctant to get out of the exciting waters.
baby number three: time to move out of the flood zone and crawl up on the banks. watching the career stream flow by. seeking stiller waters. finding a new stream.
mom of three young ones: depending on the day, a varying flux–a steady drip, like water torture (not my metaphor), raging rapids, floods, or flowing tides.
today–three kids in school, flexible work: feeling more buoyant. negotiating a new stream. anticipating more “flux” to come.
Along the journey, I fluctuate. Sometimes I struggle. Sometimes I know my choices are right. As I adapt and evolve, sometimes I wonder whether I’m losing—or finding?—my true self. Is this maturity, or weakness? The blessings are abundant, but different from what I expected. Can I ever go back to my original plans? Do I want to? In which stream do I want to row?
The flux metaphor works for me as I flow through life’s seasons. How does it resonate with you?