I'm craving quiet, calm, peace. A season where my days aren't filled with lists, checkmarks and errands. I find myself in-between two spaces often: the go go go mama and entrepreneur. Working every extra minute, rushing off to events and meetings. And then the quiet at home mama and wife easily entertained by a good book, a relaxing afternoon at the beach. This summer has been the former. I've been rushed, I've been stretched and I've grown a lot. But right now I'm craving the latter. I want to slowly watch my days unfold and let the wind take us where it wishes. I want to sit with William for 20 minutes looking for dolphins in the ocean and never feel a minute of anxiousness about an errand we have scheduled or work I need to do.
I'm bombarded daily with the concept of balance. How to juggle work & life, how to balance motherhood and being an entrepreneur, how to keep your cool when your days are full but you're an introvert. I was recently asked to write a piece about balancing and I nearly snorted into my second cup of coffee.
There is no balance between work and life. They're one in the same. To separate them would be impossible. Work is work, family is family, leisure is leisure. Seems pretty cut and dry. But all of these things are not mutually exclusive. Even if you leave the house to work from 9-5 every weekday you cannot possibly completely separate what you do at work from what you do while you're at home.
I like to think of it as more of a beautiful song. Full of melody and harmonies - a full orchestra playing each and every part. The instruments are the pieces of your life that you weave together: your work, your family, your hopes, dreams, planting a garden, playing softball, dinners with friends, daily runs. Sometimes the music of life sounds like a high school orchestra. Thin, full of mistakes, but generally in the right place. Other times a few of the instruments forget to show up and it ends up being a duet. And a few glorious moments where everything is perfectly in sync your life is the most professional symphony; intricate phrases coming together seamlessly, crescendos, movements all vibrating to their highest frequency to create something so beautiful it makes you stop and think and you're filled with the most intense feeling of gratitude for how thankful you are to be living this one life.
That's what balance is. Right now, I'm giving a few players the night off. Today's schedule calls for a simple duet or maybe quartet. Nothing fancy, an easy to follow piece of music, simple enough for a child to understand but beautiful enough for even the most learned musician to appreciate. In time, the music of my life will change. More instruments will again fill the concert hall, some still needing some practice, some out of tune, others pure perfection and the tune will sound quite different.
The trick is to be OK with whatever your music sounds like in this moment of time. And to know, always know, that there will be a shift. It may be a longer movement at the elementary level, but at some point, your players will become more professional-sounding, your music will change, adjust, and you'll find yourself in a beautiful concerto and, once again, a few players will call in sick or quit or be late to the concert and you'll feel like you're flat or sharp or just not in sync. But knowing there's something else right around the corner; another season, another phrase, is the secret to loving every note of your song.
*did i get a little heavy with the metaphor there? clearly i'm craving some music right now!*