balance is overrated
Everywhere I go, people are trying to find balance.
Whether it’s work/life balance, time/money balance, food/fitness balance, you name it, balance is the answer. If we only had balance, everything would be Okay.
So, do you know anyone who has found it yet? Someone who has actually achieved balance and sustained it?
After years of striving for that elusive point of balance, I’m starting to wonder if we’re searching for the wrong thing. In fact, maybe it’s just plain unnatural to stay balanced.
Consider a good old fashioned teeter totter. Remember those?
Those teeter totters (or seesaws, another technical term) are fun to ride, aren’t they? Why? We enjoy the thrill of the ups and downs. It wouldn’t make any sense to sit on one, balancing in the middle. That would be boring, and if you think about it, weirdly controlling and stressful. There’s a bit of risk — bumping at the bottom or flipping off the top — but you don’t get the thrill unless you jump on and let the ride do its thing.
For some reason, we don’t have teeter totters on playgrounds any more. I guess they’re not safe enough. We can’t guarantee bad things won’t happen on a teeter totter. They do. But without them, we miss some excitement.
I’m beginning to think of life as a big multi-axis teeter totter. There are moments of balance, but they’re fleeting, and if we’re not centered we might spin off the axis. Having a center is important. Still, most of the time we’re floating back and forth, transitioning from one extreme to the other. We can’t completely control it, because other people are riding the teeter totter too. That’s okay. The highs and lows help us appreciate life.
Sometimes I wonder if we’re spending too much energy trying to control everything in the middle — keep it perfectly balanced — and in the process, we miss all the fun.
I think it’s time to jump back on and enjoy the ride, even if we hit a bump or two.
What do you think? Are you tired of searching for that perfect balance point?
Check out Teeter Talk, written by a guy in my hometown who interviews local celebrities on his backyard teeter totter. What fun!
Or see my earlier post on flux and flow for another “unbalanced” metaphor.