Because sometimes all you need is a shift in perspective.
For so many years, I believed that the secret to a happy life was balance. But I think I misunderstood. I thought that meant that each day would be a perfect blend work and play, time together as a family and time alone with my own thoughts, a bouquet perfectly arranged. And in striving for this perfection, I was missing the point; the joy of a messy life.
You see, I didn't realize that spending an entire day guiding a seven year old through his angry feelings toward his brother was part of the balance. I mistook the sleepless nights and days of laundry mountains as days of being off-balance. And because I felt that spending more than a "balanced" amount of time on nature walks or visiting the zoo or travelling would set us off kilter, I kept these enriching activities to a minimum.
I don't think there is anything wrong with this, as it worked for us at that phase of our life, but now I see things differently.
I see that all of these moments strung together, like pearls on a necklace, create a life of balance.
It's not just the snapshot of the day that I need to look at, but the whole week, month, year, or longer. It is only over time that we can see the true balance of our time.
Recognizing this relieves me. I don't have to feel guilty about spending an entire spring in the woods or hurried on the days when everyone just needs to lay around and listen to me read aloud or watch another documentary about the lions in Africa.
I don't have to do it all, all the time. I can so some things, some of the time, because that is a balanced life.
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