On Balance and Space Boats

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This past weekend, I attended a Bloggy Boot Camp in downtown Chicago. We heard from successful PR folks, learned about Google+, writing an ebook, getting on TV, all those big important blogging things that I want to do. But the topic I was looking forward to the most was the session on balance.

Balance.

Talk to anyone and it’s probably something they struggle with. Moms, students, women, men, everyone.

For me, the word conjures up an image of a teeter-totter, going up and down, back and forth, trying to get to the point where we’re not playing around anymore and the teeter-totter is at a standstill. Straight across. No one is up, no one is down, we’ve reached the point where things are stable and we’re not going anywhere.

On one end there’s the real life me: the mom, the wife, the weeknight chef, the family member, the friend, the decorator, the maid, the lego builder. On the other end, there’s the me that lives online: tackling social media platforms of all kinds, blogging, designing, networking, reaching out, working with brands, trying to make money, looking at the numbers, worrying about the numbers, taking pictures, tackling projects.

The Ann Maries go up and down. Up and down. Up and down. When my home life is awesome, the business side takes a hit. When my blog is rockin’, the home looks like a bomb hit it and my kids are not playing as much as they should. Why can’t I do it all? Why can’t I have that balance?

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There’s no such thing as being perfectly balanced.

Do you ever see that teeter-totter stay still? No. Even when no one is on it, the wind blows it. (don’t ask me where that fits in this analogy)

That’s what I learned from the session from Heather at The Ordinary Extraordinary. The “balanced people” struggle too. The messy parts of this life make it interesting. It’s going to be tough. And that’s okay.

Maybe you’re not a blogger. But I’m willing to bet that you struggle to find a balance.

No one has this crap figured out.

I spent yesterday cutting and pasting and glueing and making “space boats” with my kids out of some old banana boxes. I was seconds away from throwing them out but was stopped by a little voice.

I am rushing from one thing to the next and worrying about what I’m not doing, and I take them and these minutes for granted. We talked, giggled, really looked at each other, taught each other, had a blast.

In our space boats. Row row row your space boat.

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Today we’ll get dressed. Today we’ll go to the store, run errands, and vote. But yesterday, we were busy.

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I’ll say it again in case you didn’t hear me. (I won’t yell this time.) No one has that perfect balance.

The teeter-totter is just a lifeless piece of wood and metal if completely balanced. When it’s up and down, the life has been breathed into it. It’s messy and maybe one rider is yelling at the other, but it’s fun. The real life me gives the online me a reason to exist, and the online me gives the real me dimension. The cooking me and playing-with-the-kids me make a mess, while the cleaning me shakes her fist. 

Oh well, guys.

That’s just how it’s going to be, and we are just have going to have to accept it. :)

 

Do you struggle with balance?

Comments

  1. says

    Beyond being soo true, this is absolutely fantastically written. You should do this more often. To quote one of my favorite movies, “damn girl, you really are a writer”.

  2. says

    Wow, I feel as though you’ve read my mind! Just spent the whole weekend thinking about how unbalanced my life is and if there really is such a thing. Sometimes I get caught up reading other blogs and wondering how they manage it all and what am I doing wrong. I just have an unrealistic expectation that if only I did this….(whatever this is..)…then I can achieve perfection. Crazy huh?

  3. says

    I think everyone (every mom?) struggles with balance. I always have to remind myself that balance has to be looked at from a distance. Looking at a single day or week, life is usually crazy heavy in one direction or the other. But over a month or a year, it’s totally do-able.

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