Sunday, November 16, 2014

Giving up on balance

A couple of weeks ago, my son asked me why I bring my geraniums inside and not just let them go with the other annuals.

Because there are mornings like this when winter arrives like an unexpected guest and the coral blossoms warm up the room.

The first snowfall of the season and my neighbor men have been dutifully out blowing away the good two inches of snow since 7:30 a.m. Yes, it's just two inches and I get that they enjoy using their toys.

I have read a couple of articles this week with similar threads. Our Mommy Problem from the NY Times, November 9, 2014 and this in the Huffington Post, The Word Elizabeth Gilbert Says Women Use as a Weapon Against Themselves.

To me, both speak volumes about the truly unrealistic expectations we can place on ourselves as women, regardless of whether or not we have children. It can be hard to say no when we are asked to do something we think is important or something that we would just have fun doing, but simply do not know how to wedge it into our already overscheduled lives.

So, we feel guilty. We feel guilty and we feel like our lives are not enough or way too much as we currently live them. We seek to find "balance" because we are told to take care of ourselves. And our children. And our relationships. And our family. And our jobs. And our homes. And our churches, faith communities, PTAs, civic groups.  Work-life balance. Mind-body-spirit balance. The yin and yang of marriage to see one's partner as more than a roommate and someone who shares the housework and bills.

The thing is, it is all a construct of our own making, and that of popular American culture. You do have a choice. You've been choosing this life you have all along. And if you find that this one you are living is more about what you think you should be doing (should is another word to get rid of, imho) because it's what others expect, then by all means ask yourself what is important to you. Not what is important to what others expect of you. Only you know who those people are in your life who matter most. They love you enough to be true to yourself.

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