The Balancing Act

For all the years that I have lived on this earth, I still have not managed to figure out the exact science behind finding balance.

Well it has been exactly two weeks and three days since my last post on this blog. THAT in itself speaks volumes about the current state of my affairs.

I suppose now this is the part where I ought to explain—with the utmost level of detail—why I have failed to keep up with this journal of my life. But honestly, I don’t have the motivation or desire to. Also, since it is mine (hee hee), I can take whatever actions I deem necessary or pleasant regarding this blog. Thus, my plan of action is to not go into further detail regarding the exact events that have discombobulated my sense of balance in general.

What I do wish to discuss is this notion of balance.

This morning, as I made my way to work, I decided to try something a little out of the ordinary and slightly juvenile in nature. As I walked towards my office, rather than walk on the sidewalk, I chose to teeter along the edge of it for as long as I could. To be honest, this was not initially a conscious decision. I started walking on the edge of the sidewalk because I was running late for work and there were two girls in front of me walking at a pretty relaxed pace. Furthermore, I did not want to walk on the grass, so that my shoes would not get muddy. Therefore, my options were the street or the edge; I chose the edge.

Now before I launch into this reflection, I’d like to note that most times when I’m going about my day, I don’t really absorb the lessons I’m learning right away. That is the point of reflection. As I commence this monologue about the beauty of walking on the edge of a sidewalk, I am going to admit that I just got this revelation two minutes ago. (I generally start my blogs with a title idea—based upon what, I am not even sure–and just spill words on my computer screen as thoughts hit the conscious and analytic side of my brain).

So here goes!

 Let me rewind to myself this morning at 7:54 am, rushing to get to work at 8:00 am:

  • I am frazzled. I’m running late.
  • I am somewhat irritated. I snoozed my alarm and did not get my work from the night before done.
  • I am unobservant. My headphones are in. My music is up. I’m blocking the world out.
  • I am hurrying. I’m still running late.
  • I am slightly chipper. The weather is cool and the gray skies—oddly enough—lift my moods today.
  • I am impatient. I am now stuck walking behind two girls who probably do not have anywhere to go.

At this point, I examined my options: grass, street, sidewalk. I proceeded to make one of those split second judgments that the mind is so great at and made my way to the edge. This is where my frame of mind changed.

All of a sudden, I wasn’t listening to the music (although it was playing). I wasn’t focused on the girls that were still crawling along on the sidewalk. I wasn’t even concerned about the work I had to do or the fact that I was running late. Rather, I was focused on walking.

One foot in front of the other. I repeated this to myself. As I made my way along the edge, the thought came to mind that I was practicing the age old ritual of five-year olds. That thought alone made me smile. In that moment, I was so aware of the path that I was walking on. Why? I had to be. If I fell off, the truck making its way toward me might suddenly come into contact with an unexpected object (my body). I noticed the cracks in the pavement. I noticed both the narrowness of the path and how I still managed to have enough room to maneuver comfortably. Near the end of my sidewalk adventure, I began to teeter slightly losing my balance. I wondered to myself what those in the vicinity who happened to see me teetering along would think, and then I smiled again—probably it is too early to be drunk.

Overall, my experiment/adventure/whatever you wish to call it ended in about 2 minutes. The lesson that I have uncovered from this as I am now reflecting will last longer than that—I hope.

From my short endeavor, I have determined that to have balance, I must first choose a path. Once that path is decided, I must take whatever time is necessary to reach the end. I must be deliberate in my action. I must be aware of my surroundings and the obstacles that may interfere with my path. I must be willing to accept that at any point in time, I may fall of the path or struggle to stay upright, but as long as I maintain composure and reclaim my position, I will be fine. I must be willing to make the most of each time I stumble or fall. Rather than be upset or embarrassed because other people may see me fall, I must embrace the fact that I am not perfect with dignity. I must recognize that despite the critiques of observers, the path I walk is mine alone and that the judgments of naysayers and ridiculers is inconsequential. I must be willing to change my approach or even my direction if necessity warrants it. I must be able to understand the seriousness of my decision to follow said path, but I must also be able to make light of every moment I have to follow that path. Then, and ONLY THEN, will I be able to find balance and happiness.

This morning as I walked along the edge of the sidewalk, I was happy. I was truly happy.

I still have many more years to live (God willing) before I can claim that I have unraveled the precise science of finding balance. For now, I have a theory. This theory shall be called the sidewalk theory, and at this moment in time, I will utilize it until I see that it does not work anymore.

That should do for now.

Peace.

~ T

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