I rejected several titles for this post. I thought of calling it “Find Your Balance” but then realized that it gives the impression that balance is a permanent state or destination. It’s not. My next idea was to call it “Strive for Balance” but that implies too much struggle and effort.
The truth is, balance in our lives is fleeting and elusive. We may have days when we approach something like it — we get just the right amount of sleep and exercise, we complement a bit of healthy solitude with a little social connection, we do just the right amount of work and enjoy just the right amount of leisure, we create something new and are in turn inspired by someone else’s creation. But days like that don’t happen without some intentionality. We have to aim for it, and usually apply a little course correction.
As the yin yang symbol illustrates, everything is constantly in a state of flux. Momentum will tend to carry us further in whatever direction we’re going, until we reach the limit where we’ve had enough, and then we naturally boomerang back toward the other extreme. Have you ever laid around in the house watching Netflix for a whole rainy weekend? At first it felt awesome, right? But by the end of the second day, you probably felt like a useless slug and couldn’t wait to get back to your routine. Or just the opposite: you have a few crazy busy days when you’re all go-go-go without a break, and all you want to do is collapse on the couch and zone out. Or maybe you’re on Day 28 of a 31-Day writing challenge, and you’re realizing that the non-writing parts of your life are suffering a bit.
Aiming for balance is about trying to avoid the wild swings between extremes. There’s a healthy sweet spot somewhere in the middle. It’s almost impossible to live there all the time, because life happens, but it is possible to notice when we’re veering off course and gently steer back toward the middle.