There has been a lot of hype around the concept of finding balance in life: work-life balance, balancing social life vs me-time, a balanced healthy life, balanced parenting…you name it.
Lately, I have been struggling a little bit with this. For example, I love to exercise, but I’ve also had plenty of couch-potato moments. I like being among people, but I also love being on my own. I love spending a day reading, but I also love binge watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. Most years, I have been wobbling through my life, feeling pulled in all sorts of directions, wondering when I will finally find balance.
Well, it finally clicked. I never will. The golden mean is an unattainable myth. I think very few of us ever manage to reside in this blessed area for a long time. But that’s OK. Why not embrace the different aspects of our lives and personalities? Why not focus our attention—fully—at one thing at a time? This in a way already brings balance to the mind: when I’m with my son, I’m with him fully; when I’m writing, I’m completely immersed; when I do yoga, I’m filled with my breath.
We can’t be everything we want to be fully all the time. I think balance lies somewhere else: in a softness to our ambitions, so we can find our way back to relaxation after the work day is done; in remembering to enjoy the ride while striving for success; in being kind and giving while still taking care of ourselves.
The real balancing act is on a scale much smaller than the day-to-day grind. It’s about consolidating the opposites of which we are all made. In this complicated dance, equal measures are not always the answer.