Monday, November 14, 2005

impossible balancing act

Ever since motherhood, I have been approaching life as a balancing act. I’ve been searching for the magical formula that will give me just the right balance between home-life, family-life, career-life, volunteer-life, church-life, etc. When I get too much of one and not enough of the others, I start feeling out of control, unbalanced. I lose track of some of the balls. I feel I need to regroup and try to figure out the formula again. And usually the new formula works for a time, it’s fresh, it’s fun, and it’s exhilarating!

And so my life has had this pattern of trying to arrange the balls just so, putting them up in the air, juggling them for a while until I start losing some of them. I’m at the end of a cycle again and it’s been family-life that has suffered. As I was discussing my dilemma with my pastor, he suggested that searching for balance probably wasn’t the answer. Apparently, I need to rethink my whole strategy for life!

I recently heard an interview with a soldier. He said it was sometimes very difficult to compartmentalize his soldier-life and his home-life, especially when he is on the cell phone with his wife and she’s talking about her “bad” day with unruly kids and he’s thinking about his “bad” day cleaning up dead bodies. Compartmentalization was necessary for him to focus on the task at hand or he might get shot. But the cost is high as it wreaks havoc on relationships because the whole person is never completely present.

I struck me that this is what I’ve been doing. I hadn’t been thinking of it as compartmentalization, but as I’m juggling, I’ve really been assigning out pieces of myself to get the tasks done. And when I’m working on one task, another part of me is usually occupied with lists that need to be completed for other tasks. I’m rarely wholly involved with the task or relationship or situation at hand.

So I think my new strategy for life is wholeness. Now I need to go figure out what that means.

No comments: