I’m channeling my inner middle schooler tonight by way of collage making. Some might call this a creative process, soul-nurturing, or emotional therapy. Tonight it is the barricade between motherhood and absolute, all-enveloping lunacy. (Earlier in the week that bomb diffuser was an emergency, large Coke. Somehow, “if you do not stop _____, I WILL turn this car around toward the nearest available McDonald’s drive-thru,” is not quite the same threat as the standard of ages past. But it does allow me, the one who is supposed to bring the emotional atmosphere I want to see regardless of my kids’ emotions, to “rise above” a little faster.)
Tonight it is the ripping of paper and the whir of tape dispensers and markers gliding slick and wild over glossed magazine. Looks like I’m going to have to buy a new copy of the latest Real Simple honoring a discussion on balance. Mine is scraps and piles and paper-people-chains all over the rug.
Balance is a word that’s floated around my circles and church-parenting world and head the past five years, consequently my first five years of mommyhood. I’ve pushed and pulled and raged and still can’t find my footing or my for-now footing on the word. Mostly I’m just relieved that others are starting to fire arrows against the easily distorted idea of balance as another euphemism for having it all and having it all together. We all know it is neither, but that word seduces and lies. It implies an equilibrium of time and whispers compartmentalizing work and family and self. Life – as we all know- is a big, hard, beautiful mess so I’m battling my way toward a broader understanding of what a balanced life is.
I have an inclination to fling myself, ALL-IN, toward life. So maybe this balance thing feels so hostile and elusive because it actually is unattainable to those of us who have been labelled, *eh-hem* “intense”.
I’m still working it out. Until then, I will continue to pause in gratitude when I feel myself interact from a platform of my strengths and gifts. I will inhale the grounding moments and meditate on grounding words. But when the emotions threaten to overwhelm my little frame and the chase toward balance feels like a mean joke, I’ll be blasting the music, reaching for patterned paper and glue stick, and you better believe I’ll be cutting you off for the golden arches and a one dollar iced wonder.