Thursday, July 24, 2008

Un-Striking a Balance

Have you ever stopped to think about the phrase "striking a balance"? There isn't really any 'striking,' is there? It's not a sudden thing. Finding the perfect balance to anything takes time and effort. Even physically balancing something doesn't usually happen on the first try (especially with those yoga balls, sheesh!). Doing the 'balancing act' is hard work. I know: I'm still learning it.

When I was in college, my time was divided among classes, homework, work, dancing, social time, sleeping, and everything else. The balance tended to tip more heavily toward work and dancing most of the time, and sleep and homework took the back seat. The balance wasn't easy to find: four years of practice yielded mediocre grades, a small social circle, and no money. Still, those four years of practice are helping me find my balances today.

Work is a constant balancing act. I struggle to meet deadlines at times, and other days I try not to get bored with the filing and 'busy work.' Sometimes I work for one person, and some days I get assignments from ten different people. Each day is a complete change from the last, and the work rotates with the seasons. I love it: there's always something new to learn.

I have to be physically balanced to be a decent dancer, so when I'm not gliding across the ballroom, I need to be exercising in other ways. Exercise is one of the dirtiest words out there to me, and I refuse to go to a gym. I truly struggle each night to find a balance between being lazy and at least taking the garbage out... going up and down my apartment steps is exercise, right?

And balancing my time isn't easy either. After work, I enjoy spending quality time with The Boy. We see each other often, nearly every day even, and finding that balance of together-time vs. alone-time has not been easy for me. I value both things. He's important to me, but having time to decompress and entertain my own thoughts is also something I treasure. We're learning and growing together in this challenge.

When I was little, adults told me I needed to learn to strike a balance with the things in my life. I always thought it would be easy. If only I'd known...

1 comment:

Ian Oberst said...

One might also ponder the sheer oddity of another way of looking at this phrase. "Striking" in another sense means to take down or remove, which gives one pause when thinking about this phrase. If a balance is something that you must search for (though some might say the end result of finding something after searching might be described as a strike, e.g. "to strike it rich."), which you maintain is a slower process, and the alternative is to take down or remove balance, how the heck did this saying ever come about?

I'm presuming that it's the case that people often find that the results of searching can be quite suddenly revealed. In a sense, we don't really "almost" find something, we simply do, and sometimes it's very surprising. Perhaps this is what it means to strike a balance: we may search for it for quite some time, but finding it may come as an unexpected surprise.