October 2, 2008
Balance: by definition in the google dictionary: To bring into or maintain in a state of equilibrium.
4. To act as an equalizing weight or force to; counterbalance. This is a word thrown around a lot these days~balance between work and family, luxury and simplicity, giving and taking. I have never, ever been a balanced person. I am an all or nothing kind of girl. I am either going to the gym 5 days a week, or not going for a month. I am going to daily Mass for a month, or only on Sundays for six months. I am blogging weekly or not at all. I have never been able to 'maintain that state of equilibrium'. Whatever the heck that is!
Lately I've become aware that maybe I need more balance. I had a great talk with my oldest best friend, Katrina the other day. Admittedly, it was a bad day. I was a cranky, cranky girl, made even crankier when she said she'd again be moving across country. But I digress. She said I had to interject more fun into my life, more "me" time. My first reaction to that statement was resistance. I have seen many people use this "me time" expression as a way to justify selfishness and egocentrism. So, I'm scared of becoming one of those selfish people. But if I'm honest, I'm a little tired.
I spend my days surrounded by poverty of all kinds. Poverty of money, of faith, of health, of supportive relationships. I have chosen a career that blesses me by enveloping me in this environment. Ever want to learn what life is really about, spend sometime with someone who experiences some form of chronic poverty. But most days, I am happy that this is my life. I really am. I enjoy the gift of being a part of people's lives and hearts. But is there a threshold? Is it unhealthy for me to spend most of my extracurricular time spending time with the poor or learning about injustice or reading about it or talking about it?
I will say though, that when Katrina said I had to have "me" time, I couldn't really even figure out what that time would look like. A pedicure? Not with closed toe shoe season coming around. A massage? In this economy, yeah right. Shopping? See previous response to the massage. So what is it that makes me really, truly happy? When do I have fun? I have been accused of not being able to have fun. But that was by a mean girl in Savannah when I turned down the 3rd tequila shot. She's not right, is she?
So since Tuesday night's chat with Katrina, I've tried to be more cognizant of when I feel really good. Last night I spent some time with a family in a transitional housing/shelter. We served supper and then she let me hold her 1 year old little girl. That baby nuzzled her face right into my neck. That made me happy. Even if I was still inside my little poverty world, that felt good. And it felt good for her mom to open up to me about her recent MS diagnosis and trust that I would pray for her. It felt good to high five her little boy and encourage her older child to keep her grades up. That all felt like such a priviledge. But does that count in my effort to find fun, happy, me time? Was this contributing to my finding balance?
Then this morning I dragged my rear out of bed at 6 and went to the gym. I really do not like working out. And I definitely don't like the cold mornings that have started. However, I do LOVE walking out of the gym and feeling that rush of cold air on me. It feels so fresh. Sometimes I get out of bed in the morning simply so I can have this feeling an hour later. Surely this has to count? Right?
So, I've deduced from this rambling mess that I do find fun and joy in spending time in that little world of folks who have less materially, but often much more in spirit than the rest of us. And I do like the feel of cold air after a workout. That's two. I kinda feel pathetic. I have got to find out where and how I truly have fun! So, while writing is supposed to make one feel better about things, I now realize I have got to figure out what fun looks like in my life again. I am 27. This is ridiculous.
P.S. I just booked a flight to DC. It's more expensive than a massage but two of my best friends on the planet live there. And Katrina and Scott just happen to be some of the most fun-loving, lively people on earth. I will justify the expense as an educational opportunity to learn from the masters of fun!!
P.S.S. I realize this is the least well-written of anything I've ever written. But this one was to clear out my head. See how scary it is in there ? :)