“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Careful, careful, oh…there you go, there you go…you got it! Balance! Balance? Yes, balance! Very soon after I was widowed, a huge sense of disbelief settled in…I think we call it denial. I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me. I couldn’t believe that it was my husband who had become ill and died. I couldn’t believe that I would be raising my kids on my own. I was in a state of complete disbelief. I discussed this with a dear friend of mine, who is also a MSW, and she told me that someday I would be able to balance the disbelief with the reality. I didn’t believe her…not one bit.
Sitting here today, I have found that balance. I still can’t believe this is the life I lead, but it is. Make sense? I still can hardly believe all that I have survived…but I have survived it. I look around and I don’t always recognize my life, but I know it is mine and I own it. I have found, well, really worked very hard, and found a way to survive. I even thrive most days now. I am happy most days. I laugh most days. I enjoy my work, my kids, my life…most days.
I can still hardly believe it though.
I balance every day. As a sole parent, it is the balance that holds everything in motion. One little glitch…and whoops…the whole thing can fall off track. I wrote once about balancing spinning plates…it is much like that. I can run and spin and spin, but every now and then I may trip and lose a plate. I may trip over my own feet or sometimes things are thrown in my path that trip me. It doesn’t take much to let a plate fall, to get off balance…that’s how it is when the balance is so delicate.
I do think that balancing takes great care. I do think it takes great tact. I think there is much inside me that I don’t let out…so I can keep the balance. I think sometimes it builds up so much that it spills out and I trip over it. I do think that it’s hard to be the one holding the scales balanced for my family…but I will always do it…no matter how hard or what the personal cost is.
So is balance success? I do think it is…I think the ability to hold things in balance…my disbelief, my reality, my grief, my joy, my stress, my relaxation, my responsibility, my fun, my care for others, my care for myself…I think that is success. It took a very, long time to be able to balance these things, even for a small amount of time. Now that I can do it pretty regularly, I find that pretty amazing. I do count that as a personal success. If I slip, that’s ok. If something throws off the balance, I try to address it and get back in sync again. Most times I can do that. Most days, I have balance. On those days when I don’t or can’t, I forgive myself, pick myself up and try again….and again…and again.