I have been struggling lately with the idea of finding some kind of balance in my life and I think that in order to save my own sanity and that of those around me, I am going to take a deep breath and admit that balance is elusive, maybe even impossible and I am okay with that.
Right now, I am sitting in my backyard with a steaming cup of tea, laptop open in front of me and a beautiful male cardinal just came to perch a tree near me. It’s a beautiful, sunny day and the weather is finally cool and comfortable with not a cloud in the sky. Sounds ideal, right? Yet in the back of my mind are a hundred things that are keeping me from enjoying this moment.
I should be working because I need to take this Friday off and if I don’t make up my hours in the next two days, it means trying to fit in some extra time on the weekend when the kids and the guy are around to distract me and make me feel guilty for not spending time with them. I need to work on the choreography for my belly dance showcase on Friday night (Yes, I belly dance. No, I’m nowhere near a professional but our school has its spring student showcase this week.). I should be working on my costume for said showcase, which is nowhere near put together. I need to figure out what we’re having for dinner tonight and plan something to make for Friday when I am away and my awesome brother-in-law will be watching the kids. There is laundry to be folded and dishes to be done, a dishwasher to unload, and yet here I am sitting in my backyard blogging.
I also haven’t been to the gym in what seems like forever and my body is starting to complain about it. I have a history of lower back pain and I am not doing myself any favours by sitting and working at a laptop when I could be strengthening my abs and stretching my muscles.
I know that it all sounds trite and unimportant when I put it in writing and that is exactly why I am doing it. The fact is that my life has had no semblance of balance in the past couple of months. I have been constantly struggling to keep up with everything and feel like I’m doing a good job at nothing. And I need to just let that go.
I pride myself in being a feminist and a well educated woman, but I still buy into the idea that I am never doing enough or doing things well enough. Shouldn’t I be getting up an hour before the kids so I can go for a run or to the gym, then make them hearty homemade oatmeal and send them off to school with lunches full of homemade, healthy foods? Shouldn’t I be giving my undivided attention to my work while they’re gone, excelling at my job while miraculously getting all the laundry done, and then picking the kids up at 3:20 with a smile on my face? I should bring them home and make a healthy dinner from scratch that we will all enjoy, sitting together at the table, recounting our day, then tidy up, help with homework, and shuffle them off to a drama free bath and bedtime. And in between all that, I should make sure my nails are done, any (surely non-existent) grey in my hair is covered, my eyebrows plucked, legs shaved and clothes immaculate. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?
And yet, I would love to be able to do all those things. I am not good at being ‘good enough.’ I am a self-professed control freak, and that has to change.
Which is why I am sitting in my backyard. The tea is now lukewarm and the little dog next door keeps barking at me through the fence because she apparently can’t remember that she sees me pretty much every day. But my mind is clearer and I am feeling refreshed and happy. My lovely old cat just came out to see what I’m doing. She is now going to eat grass in the backyard and surely barf it up all over the dining room floor but that’s okay. She’s happy, I’m happy. I am going to ignore the dishes and the dishwasher and get to work. But first, another cup of tea.