I've been thinking a lot about balance lately.
It's a commodity we all need, and those you see displaying mastery of balance in their lives often make it look so very easy to achieve.
A pretty fairytale, but for most of us about as realistic as suddenly being able to hold poses like the one these boys are rocking so hard.
So what are we to do then? I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you a little about my struggles, stumbles, and successes in the ongoing quest to bring balance into my life.
My kidlet is what some would call challenging. Hah. Those poor fools don't live with her. She is exhausting, frustrating, brilliant, inspiring and perfect just as she is. Oh, and she happens to have bi-polar disorder. Every day she makes me proud. Every day she tests the very limits of my patience. And every single day she gives me the gift of herself. I'm not sure she realizes how much good she brings into my world... it's hard for her to hear the good things I say. Any chastisement hits straight home, a rocket fueled arrow to her heart. It's a soul shredding job some days, being her mum. Some days it's the greatest high in the world. Most days it's both all mashed up into a complicated pile of manure with the best smelling roses in the world growing out of it.
I wouldn't change being her mum for the world.
I am more than just a mum though. I'm a woman. I'm an author, a publisher, a friend, a sister, and a hundred other things. So my writing schedule is a little odd. I write around when she needs me. I sleep when I get the chance, and every day I try to be a better mum by being a better me. Today that means working from the time she left for school until she comes home. Tomorrow it may mean putting my writing aside for a few hours and helping her play in the dirt, or clean her room. It may mean being strict or it may mean being lenient. I have to take that on a case by case basis.
My brother Vic, pictured above with the kidlet, sometimes despairs of me. Well, not exactly, but I do get up on his last nerve with spurs on when I let the kiddo speak rudely. Vic doesn't roll like that. And really, neither do I. But sometimes, the best the child can do is tell me that she's trying... and tell me in a rude tone.
I can't begin to imagine how difficult her world is, where she's faced daily with the knowledge that no matter what she does her condition will color every aspect of her life. I'm not happy she has to deal with this. I am supremely grateful that I don't have such a difficult path to walk. I think she and my brother Vic are both much stronger than I. For me, loving them and being there for them is all in a day's work/play for me.
I'm a bit of a clown, and that's okay for me. I don't always write enough, and I don't always spend enough time taking care of my family. I forget things. I overextend. And I get up every day and do it all again. I do my level best to be a little more balanced in what I ask of myself every day. The world is a shifty old place though, and I have to keep adjusting. So I take it day by day, and case by case.
And I remind myself to approach everyday like this: Family first. Do what I love. Prioritize, cause there is no fecking way I can get to it all, and the ass-chewings sure to come my way for the balls I fail to keep up in the air.
Eh, it's okay. I learned in the Army that ass grows back in about eight seconds. And really, I have a lot of ass to begin with. I'll be alright while I'm out here practicing my balancing act. :)
Tell me how you keep your balance, or how you get it back when you lose it.
I read Stephani Hecht or JP Bowie or Megan Derr. They are my comfort reads, and always put me right back in balance.