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I'm Pam, and I'm glad you're here. I hope my thoughts on family, faith, and the flux of life help you laugh, fire you up or just make you think.

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balance is overrated

Balance

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. 

***

Creative Commons License photo credits: liber , John Brownlow

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7 comments to balance is overrated

  • kafi

    Thanks again! This is a really good reminder because I do feel like I spend my time looking for balance, when I should be enjoying the ups and the downs. I do believe there is fun to be found in the downs–especially when my down moods cause me to crave and eat good chocolate ;)

    I am enjoying talking to you via your blog!

  • I just have to say I LOVED THIS POST. :)

    Heather of the EO’s last blog post..Living your best life and all that

  • Deb

    Well Pam…my life has been out of balance for over a year now and I’m missing it! But I love reading your thoughts, always provoking.

  • Alison

    I’m always seeking that elusive balance. Your post makes me feel better for never quite achieving that! Life is all about ebb and flow.

  • I don’t think balance is really an option. Just the concept itself implies a constant state of teetering and trying to stay in balance. An effort, stressful too. For most of my adult life, I struggled to maintain balance and failed miserably. I shifted my thinking a few years back and now prefer to use the word “harmony.” Harmony implies congruence of body, mind and spirit. Also an inner sense of well-being and connection to our spirit (and the greater Spirit). And that is what is really important to me. Plus it feels really good to be in harmony with something, someone, or ourselves. What do you think? Is harmony a better fit for you? Blessings!

    Janice Lynne Lundy’s last blog post..Thoughts on the Spiritual Life with Author Paul Martin

  • pam

    Thanks for the feedback, ladies. I too find myself “seeking balance” on a regular basis but am beginning to prefer other themes.
    Janice, I do love “harmony”–along with your eloquent description, I like the idea of intermingling the best of our connections with one another to create something more. . . harmonious.
    Thanks for putting it all into words.
    You all inspire me!

  • [...] haven’t figured out the balance (do we ever?).  But I’m back, ready to jump in [...]

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