She: I’m fed up! There’s no balance in my life! Everything seems to be spinning out of control. It is making me edgy and peeved; I don’t like me like that! The more I am trying to create balance, the more things are falling apart. I don’t know what to do!
He: What happened? You sound really upset!
She: I AM upset! This new project is sucking up all my time. I have no time or energy left to do anything else! There are a thousand other things I ought to be doing but I can’t! It’s been weeks since I finished reading a book. I’m still stuck onto the the one I began three weeks ago. I never take so long to finish a book! I haven’t entered the kitchen for days! I don’t even remember if I’ve eaten or not! I used to love playing badminton with the neighbor’s kids… I haven’t done that in I don’t know how many weeks! It has been over a month since I wrote a word. How can I finish a book at this rate? All I do is sit with my head buried in this idiotic project!
I want to caution you against the idea that balance has to be a routine that looks the same week in and week out.
~ Kevin Thoman
He: So get your head out of it.
She: Stop being so aggravating! You KNOW I can’t do that! I can’t budge until it is all done and over with. You know I am a compulsive ‘finisher‘ for a reason.
He: I do… but do you?
He: I know you love this project. When it is done, you’ll be immensely proud of it… wont you ?
She: This is why I can’t talk to you! You hit me with tangents!
He: Wont you?
She: Yes, dammit! I would!
He: Hold onto that thought while I remind you of something.
She: Remind me of what?!
He: Do you remember the year before last? You did NOTHING but write. You wrote like a maniac. That’s how you finished your first book…. remember?
She: Of course I remember!
He: Would you say your life was balanced then? I don’t think you were getting a lot of badminton or cooking done those days. And the only reading you did was your own pet darlings, the glowing phrases you polished painstakingly- phrases you killed ruthlessly later. Am I wrong?
She: No. You aren’t wrong. But what’s your point?
He: My point is this: Your life has always been one of extremes. When you get into one thing… the other things stop to exist. You aren’t a balanced kind in the short term; you’re an extreme type.
She: What do you mean ‘in the short term‘?
He: Ah! Now that’s the point. You see, if you evaluate your life for balance on a daily basis, you are likely to be disappointed. In 24hour spurts, your life is gloriously unbalanced. Even a weekly scale is likely to leave you unhappy. But if you could just take a larger scale… lets say three years… why you have all the balance you need!
In a three year period you’ve cooked like a maniac for months; read indolently for weeks on end; written like a maniac for almost a year; played silly childhood games like a spoiled rich heiress who has nothing better to do; become a demon in your demanding professional domain as if the world were coming to an end tomorrow… on and ON! It is dizzying to watch you! Why do you want MORE balance?!
Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.
She: Ohhh! I never thought of it that way!
He: I know. That’s why you need me around.
She: I love you dad!
He: I love you too princess!
Note: Dedicated to all those who nurture, hearten and inspire. Happy Mother’s Day to you!
Oh yes! How we need our nurturers no matter how old we become. Loved the way you brought out a hard truth, something that we fail to see about ourselves sometimes. Come to think of it, one needs to evaluate things only on a long term for the correct perspective, because in the short term life does appear skewed.
And the ability to nurture is not the exclusive domain of women… or have anything to do with age.
Indeed we need nurturing. Sometimes, it takes the form of a new way of seeing something. Proust said: My destination is no longer a place, but a new way of seeing.
indeed if we look at a longer period, we can measure how much balanced or imbalanced we have been. Dads always know how to give a clear picture 🙂
Dads, moms, teachers… they know how to turn things around for us.
Great insight. Happy Mother’s Day!
Thank you Catherine!
You always get me to think about things in ways I never even imagine. Now, that is a perspective I love. <3
Thank you Jai! So happy this made you think. 😀
It is like the truth about India, India as so many wise people have said, lives in millennia. Perhaps that is true of Indian view of life too. Otherwise why would we have such an entrenched belief in many many lifetimes to bring all our parts into balance and harmony so that we may ready for the most important aim of life. This is the thought that came to mind after I read your post earlier today.
You maybe speaking of balancing and nurturing on a personal level but I think you are also speaking of a deeper truth of how the work of balancing and harmonising the entire creation has to be seen in a longer perspective (the theory of 4 yugas, right!). Maybe then we can also learn how to stop agitating over each and every development in the short run and instead take a long view and slowly work to nurture the imbalances.
Or maybe I am way too off 🙂
But either way, your beautiful writeup reminds me to be a bit more gentle towards myself and people around me, and not get too worked up over imbalances in my day-to-day life and that of those around me. You, the nurturer, has so effectively done that through your words. Thank you!
I was speaking of both kinds of balances. The balance one needs within a life… and across many lives. You are never off… let alone way off. Not when it comes to reading me.
But you have taken the thought a few step further than I could see it. That, is the reward of having you visit my blog. Thank you! <3
Sounds so much like a Libran (are you?). Not that I dabble much in Astrology but my husband is and that sounds so much like him! Very passionate about the one thing at hand, finishes it, is proud of it and then moves on to the next exciting thing!
No Rosh, I am not a libran. I am not a ‘finisher’ by nature. I am a flighty Aries… I have a wandering attention. My fancy is easily caught by newness. I have had to work on this flightiness. Now I mostly finish what I begin. But it is still a struggle. 😀
Oh My God!! Thats really not the direction in which i could have thought. Such an absolutely amazing post that one Dagny, i truly owe you a big hug.
Cuz thats exactly the way i feel…i have no time for anything except taking care of kids. I quit my job a year ago, completely forgot about travelling, playing or writing. My to-read list has been growing like my weight and sometimes, im downright bawling out Loud. But in a rare moment of sanity, i know that i can resume working as of today. I just choose not to so i can thoroughly enjoy this phase of parenting for now.
I so completely get it now. In the long run, i would have written, worked, cooked and loved my children as much as i wanted to. Thank you so much for that amazing amazing post.
I’m so happy you could find something useful in this post. Really, really pleased. You just made my effort worthwhile. Thank you!
The big Picture. I so love doing that. When things bog me down or sadden, I have noticed that a larger view makes me feel grateful and claw out of misery. When I lost my mother, I took strength in the time she spent with me, that she bore me and gave me all of herself so lovingly. Imagine if I never had her. In the longer run, life balances itself. The joys and sorrows, the friends and foes, the love and losses, everything. Loved this post, Dags.
I’m so sorry for this delayed response Rachna! I don’t know how I missed this!
Another thing I’ve noticed is that when you are going through the worst of times, someone or the other always appears miraculously to help you wade through it. Some times you are so deep into your challenge that though you take that helping hand, you don’t really have the attention to wonder at the timing of its appearance. In retrospect, however, you are always amazed how perfectly timed some people’s arrival in your life was.
This never stops to astound me.
So happy you liked the post! I always feel super pleased to get a commendation from you! <3
I completely related to that one ! Life is not always about balance, is it ? Interestingly, when we love what we do theoretically, then there’s no balance and if we actually try to do everything, then we just go mad, trying to split ourselves into so many pieces. I run into the same problems because most of the time, I am into stuff which sucks the whole out of me, leaving me little time for other things. Which also incidentally explains the sad state of my blogging 🙂 Our mentors who can show ourselves to us in this mess are really saviors.
Asha, I hope you will now be easier on yourself than you’ve been in the past. You see, we have a finite bandwidth. If you invest it in one thing, obviously you wont have much left over to invest in others. It is perfectly okay to do something like a maniac… then drop it totally and do the next- again like a maniac. Trust me, you get a lot done that way.
I do what grabs my fancy today. When I write, I write like a maniac… or I won’t put up a post in a month. Meanwhile, there are other things I am doing… and enjoying to the hilt. 😀
I’m sorry for the delay in responding to your comment. I don’t know how I missed it!