With precision — on the tip of your toes and at the top of a rope — you are balanced. There might be a slight wobble now and then, a tip forward, or the momentary wildly flailing arm and leg. Yet, you stay on top — balanced.
On either side of the scale work and life sit in dishes parallel to each other. Vegetables, grains, protein, dairy, sugar and fats hang in a circle. This is what it means to be healthy. And I argue the point all the time.
Mostly in my head. Someone has to tell me to stop eating cookies. Or, that popcorn and a leftover Winter Stout does not make a complete dinner. As long as we are inside my head when did the seasonal beer schedule start mimicking the fashion schedule? We already have 8 months of summer — give me back my winter beers in winter. Or, that balance doesn’t mean having every hour scheduled because of self-inflicted obligations.
I think about balance a lot when it relates to work. I strive constantly to make more get done in the working day so that I can spend an equal amount of time at home — and sleeping hours don’t count. Then again, I’m an introvert (Hi.) and home is the best place to me.
Others see long work hours as a sign of dedication. Balance doesn’t exist because balance is what it takes to be healthy, but not what it takes to be successful.
The 2014 Winter Olympics are about to start and all the commercials are about non-stop, life-long drive to a gold medal. Sure, what those athletes do is incredible. I went ice skating the other day and didn’t fall once. Not when I hopped, not when I stood on one leg, not when I spun, and not when I flailed about madly to keep my balance — with all the grace of a three legged puppy. I can really appreciate how much work — how many long days were few hours are spent sleeping and fewer hours are spent at home — they put into their work.
But, then I think about balance. And I think about Black Swan. How all her obsessive, unbalanced craziness was because of a lack of balance. Ba-duh-buhm. Get it — professional ballet dancer doesn’t have balance? Seriously, though her behavior is rather typical for that world it hurts her.
So here is my question — is balance or driven success really more important? Can you have both? And if you say yes I want examples.
Pictured above: Adapted from a recipe told to me by my friend Glory R. Soup made with acorn squash, carrot, sweet potato, walnuts, and spices. Topped with blanched kale puree and Hopelessly Bleu Cheese from Pure Luck Farm & Dairy