Balance is a verb

Today I’m home with my little ladies who are still getting over being sick and kept me and Jim up all night long with their crying, coughing, demands for more milk and use of the good pillow (mine). The post I had wanted to share with you today isn’t ready and this morning I was feeling  selfishly irritated and was just getting ready for a second cup of coffee.

As I prepped my mug, I saw a new message come across from my friend. She wrote…

In her new book, Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about perfection as just another form of fear. “Perfectionists decide in advance that the end result is never going to be satisfactory, so they don’t even bother trying to be creative in the first place,” she writes.

My friend’s timing was perfect. I wasn’t sure what to put up here today because I didn’t want to just post something lousy for the sake of getting something up and in front of you all. As always, I want to post something meaningful but the perfectionist in me wanted to just give up and try again tomorrow.

So today may not be what I thought or hoped it might be but it’s still worth the effort. What’s good is I feel myself gradually falling into place.

There was this place I had pictured in my head when things spiraled out of control this time last year. I labeled this place the perfect balance and I was on a mad quest to find it. The place where I would dictate my schedule, I would do the work I want (write) and I would have the time to take care of my girls. Now that I have made it to this place, I have realized the name I had for it doesn’t fit.

I don’t know if the word balance is really a noun.

It’s not a person, or a place. It’s not something you necessarily achieve. It’s perpetual.

As I settle in, as I fall into place, the  balance is still constantly moving. Now that I am here doesn’t mean I can take a load off, kick my feet up and call it good. Whether I have a full-time career or am a full-time caregiver,  it still requires effort to maintain. The elements have simply shifted.

And that perfectionist thing? That didn’t go away with my old job title. Nope. It just reassigned itself to other things, like keeping the sink clear, the laundry baskets empty and the floors clean. Like shoveling in a snow storm, most days it seems pointless. (Like Liz’s quote above.) And I’m learning to be ok with that and to be ok with simply doing what I can.

I’m just about four months in and this place is still every bit what I had hoped for. Especially days like today when all I did for an hour was sit on the couch, held a girl in each arm and acknowledged guilt-free (<– big deal) that I didn’t need to be doing anything else.

This morning I was worried that this blog post would come up short because it wasn’t what I had planned, and perhaps it has. But in writing this, I have found new momentum in the love thyself arena and feel way better than I would have writing nothing at all. Like I wrote back to my friend this morning, we do what we can and that is enough.

4 thoughts on “Balance is a verb

  1. “We do what we can and that is enough” is the best advice you have ever given me. It is so true. You also told me that the household chores can wait and holding and snuggling my newborn is all I needed to be doing. I think that still holds true for a 2 year or and 3 1/2 year old. 🙂 Thank you for being such a great friend and keeping it real.


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