Balance

Sigh. I can’t seem to blog on the weekends. It isn’t a normal routine, and I get thrown off. This post will feel a bit schizophrenic, and reveal the random thoughts that pour through my mind.

This weekend I remembered to watch the SYTYCD finale, as it aired when I was moving two weeks ago. I vegged on Saturday, but remedied that with a late evening walk around a lake near the capitol building. Sunday was church, followed by some errands, a delicious lunch and a trip floating down the river we froze in a few days prior. My errand run included a quick trip to Joann’s to get pins for a project that I worked on in the evening: My US map. I put pins into a map of the US, backed by a piece of cardboard left over from an IKEA box, and put color-coded pins across the country, representing places I have lived, visited, have friends, and want to visit. I like it, though oddly, there’s a high concentration of pins in California, and not very many outside of that. Solution? Travel more.  Or at least I hope to. I want to go to Canada this weekend, as labor day is coming up. We’ll see if I am successful in my planning.

Today was my first day at a new job, and it was a long day, so I am once again in my pajamas at 9:00, and will spend the rest of my evening reading before I go to bed. I like my coworkers, and think that I will learn a lot from this job. Today I spent most of my day in the food bank, or picking up food, both donated and purchased, for the food bank. It’s the end of the month. We’re running low. We’ll see how the job morphs as school gets bank in session. It’s slow for now, but I believe it will pick up in a few weeks. More details later, I suppose. Today was uneventful, and I’m okay with that.

It seems that I work M-F, and play on the weekends. It works well enough, and I surely appreciate not having to grade or write lesson plans in the evening this year. I really like the fact that many religions and philosophers have some version of a balanced life being the road to contentment, and I buy it completely. I’m applying this most immediately to work and play, but it’s a philosophical belief that shows up in many areas of life. When I was teaching last year, I found this poem on balances that I really liked, and I’ve reproduced it below.  Many of my students connected with it in different ways, and it was cool to hear their interpretations. For all of the value I believe it holds, it’s difficult to find balance. Is there a point where a person achieves balance in life? Is it really as important as I think?

Balances by Nikki Giovanni

in life
one is always
balancing

like we juggle our mothers
against our fathers

or one teacher
against another
(only to balance our grade average)

3 grains of salt
to one ounce truth

our sweet black essence
or the funky honkies down the street

and lately i’ve begun wondering
if you’re trying to tell me something

we used to talk all night
and do things alone together

and i’ve begun

(as a reaction to a feeling)
to balance
the pleasure of loneliness
against the pain
of loving you

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