Balance, the myth and the wonder.
When I was home full-time, my house was a mess. I had days of complete shut-down. I’d be in my pajamas, working constantly and unwilling to work on myself. Showering was optional. The laundry would get done. The chaos would swirl as swiftly as I let it. I was so busy keeping people alive; literally catching children as they jumped off of counters that were too high for them to climb. It was all or nothing. At the end of the day, I’d collapse into a pile of flannel and think about what I’d accomplished. We all lived another day. Success.
I’m at work full-time now. My house is a mess. The laundry trails down stairways, but, my hair looks awesome. I’m working constantly and not showering isn’t an option anymore. I have to look presentable even while my home life resembles ancient ruins. Something resembling organization once happened here. Now, it’s the constant clicking of a clock telling us we’re late…again. We’re always late and it’s bills I find under other neglected mail and they are, for the first time in years, well, what do you know…late. It’s missed doctors appointments and mildew on a shower curtain that I painfully and purposefully ignore; hoping I find some internal well of give-a-shit that loves bleach and the pride that comes after cleaning things.
I’ve been on this hamster wheel for a long time and I’ve begged the universe, internet and friends for answers. Balance…I want it. I need it. It doesn’t fucking exist.
The thing about this whole idea of being everywhere and everything to everyone at the same time OR, the further idea of doing pieces of all of these things in a timely manner and, by the way, exceptionally well is my own personal, pretty unicorn.
It’s like someone once wrote on my brain with permanent marker: “Balance is rewarded to those who try the mostest hardest!” and I’ve been staring at this unkind graffiti for so long that I actually believe it.
Because if I just worked harder or longer or cleaned more efficiently or ate more locally sourced food or gave more of my income to charity or knew more about the political landscape or stopped buying Honey Nut Cheerios or invested in the right pair of jeans for my ass size, I’d be a better person. I’d be a more balanced person.
But, despite the brainffiti, the thing that life and this world keep telling me is that in order to do something, you must give something else up and when you give something up, you can’t be expected to find some sort of suppressed ZEN in doing something you once did really well in a really half assed way. You can’t do all things well because the world gives and takes and perfection must always be denied. Because we’re human and it needs to be this way for us to grow.
I imagine that one day my house will be incredibly clean and I’ll have really nice stoneware. I imagine we’ll travel and eat fancy cheese and maybe one or both of us will have gotten our shit together enough to have a viable retirement plan. I can see this. And, I can also see that my kids will be gone and a part of me will probably really want to see dirty socks trailing down my stairs. But, you can’t have it all. Balance is absurd.
Right now, I just want to figure out how to grocery shop on a Wednesday instead of a Saturday and how to make sure we don’t get down to just one diaper before realizing we’re also out of toilet paper.
It’s just going to have to be chaos and no matter how desperately I look for balance, it’s never going to return my calls.
It would probably call right at dinner and try to sell me something anyway.