I would have an easier time with the word laugh, or perhaps jump. Although I’m pretty confident I could not jump very high, I could in fact jump. Now if you ask me to run, I’d have to ask what was chasing me. I’ve tried to add running into my life. I’ve worn those pants that are not supposed to be worn as pants. Put on a XXL sweatshirt to hid my tush, and even invested in a pair of snazzy running shoes from an actual running shoe shop.
Maybe it was the motion of my gut meeting my boobs in the rise and fall of each step that caused me to consider Dramamine when attempting this activity. Or the faces I passed with a combination of bemusement and horror. But the point is I could not find the balance of adding running to m life.
If you asked me to cook a meal, and I’d be happy to. I’d find the balance with the savory part of the meal and then the sweet. Following my mother’s rule of a starch, a green and a yellow vegetable and a protein. There would be balance on the plate.
Yet finding the balance for me with diet (oh my God I love food) and exercise (oh my God, I used to love to work out when I weighed 115 and looked cute in those pants you’re not supposed to wear as pants) has been like thinking I could walk a tight rope, but having the rope tie me to a tree.
Then my step son surprised me with a Mother’s Day gift. He was always a card kinda guy, and I appreciated that very much. To receive a package was something special. Tucked inside the slick white wrapping used as envelopes now, were too many layers of bubble wrap surrounding a bracelet. But this was not like a charm bracelet, it was more like he prayer bead bracelets. It has smooth, soft clear beads that resemble cloudy pearls. One of those items you just have to touch. What stood out right away is there was a black bead directly opposite a white bead divided by the soft clear beads.
A card explained that the black bead contained mud from the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. The white bead contained water from Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth.
My step son knows I am working hard on my first novel. He has cheered me on, celebrated with me, and given me a hug when the words would not flow. Here he was giving me exactly what I needed. A symbol of balance. You see the black bead is not negative per say, it is to signify the difficult moments you experience in anything, your studies at school, work, art, life. Even through those lowest moments, you must stay hopeful.
The white bead represents your highest most wonderful moments in life. It is those times when you’re feeling great that it is important to stay humble.
The advertisement that came with his gift now sits on my writing desk. It says, “Sometimes you’re on top. Stay Humble. Sometimes you’ve hit a low. Stay Hopeful.
Ah balance. Yes we need to be much more mindful of what we eat, what we rub on our bodies, have any animals been hurt to produce that product. We MUST move more, we have become a culture who pretty much sits to do everything. Be entertained, entertain ourselves, work, and yes, especially those of us who write. We become glued to our chairs, stools, recliners, desks – when we are thinking about what to write, and when we are on a roll.
My step son is also a personal trainer – he has given me real and valuable information on getting in shape. That losing weight comes from the kitchen and getting in shape comes from the gym. He explained weight loss in a way that gave me that ‘ah ha’ moment – which I can carry with me to the fridge. He said not to get caught up in the, “You’ll be in the best shape of your life in # days!” fads. But to think of your body as an Olympic size swimming pool – and losing weight is dipping one cup of water out of the pool with each amount you lose. Of course that first cup doesn’t look like you’ve done anything, maybe even ten cups, doesn’t even look like the water level has changed. But it has. And if you keep dipping cups out, one at a time, and here’s the big word – consistently. You will succeed.
My balance is finding what I want to do with what I need to do and what I should do. Of course no one has just two things to balance – that would be too easy right?! Sure! If it was just two things I could do that, but its all the things life waits for us to do something about each day. The yard, the grocery shopping – which of course takes planning and effort and a budge, the car – why won’t it start this time? Gotta call AAA and get it to the mechanic. Did I meditate today? I can’t remember – damnit – breathe and think peaceful thoughts. Ugh the phone is ringing! The doctor’s appointments and hell I do not want to have a colonoscopy, didn’t I just have one? Oh yeah, that’s right, it was seven years ago! Cause this balance gig is also being pro-health right? Right. And this is just a couple different dips with that cup into the pool we call life. I’m sure you could come up with an entirely different list to share with me.
In those times when you are mindful and you recognize you are at a low point, and the things you’re juggling seem to fall and sometimes explode in front of you. Please, stay hopeful. When you are at the lowest you can go, keep in mind you will rise and be able to breathe. And when you are at the top, and feeling great, singing a song with a smile on your face. Please, stay humble. Being on top for a moment, yes, enjoy and relax because you’ll need your strength when the waves roll and tumble and it all begins again.
Balance. Be it with your marriage, your family, your job, your pets, your neighbors, your lack of neighbors, your car, your bicycle etc etc – it ultimately starts and ends with YOU. You must find your balance, no one else can, no one else will. It must come from you and when you find it, in whatever way you can, by running, reading, drawing, writing – you will be able to be hopeful when you need it and humble when you should be it.
Breathe Deep, Think Peace