I learned a new game last weekend: put a brown paper bag on the floor, and each person playing has three chances to try to get the brown paper bag in his/her mouth and stand up. The challenge is that this person has to do this by standing on one foot only without touching the other one to the floor (or on top of the other foot, as I did to rest between tries before my sister called me out on it). It tests balance and strength. I loved it. (Somehow, I ended up winning.)
And yet, balance has eluded me the past couple of months as I’ve tried to fit rest and play between work days. I want to be there for my kids, but I also want to be able to explore and read and sleep and spend time with others. This does not come easily; I have, in fact, felt torn. Is exhaustion the default state of parenthood? Is there always a sacrifice to be made for either work or pleasure? I want there to be room for fulfillment in both, but I’ve been wondering recently if that’s possible.
So I practice balance every morning in my yoga, and I can even win a game that requires balance. And I hope that somehow all of this will allow me to find it in my life. I want there to be a fluidity to things, a natural break for rest and recuperation and then energy for putting myself wholeheartedly into my work. Instead, everything bleeds into everything else, making work exhausting and rest work. It’s not that I’m floundering and miserable. I still feel this is important and that I am in the right place. It’s just that I want my actions to be sustainable, and sometimes (especially lately) I get the feeling that I can’t do this same thing for an extended period of time without burning both ends of the wick.
“You do what you can, and you do it because you should. But all you can do is all you can do.”
I don’t know. That’s what I’m left with: I have no clue. I want fulfilling work. I want fulfilling relationships. I want fulfilling rest. I want it all. And I want balance. I just don’t yet know how to find it.