Why Balance? Why Beam?

IRLFeb 20, 2018by Tracey Jackson Comments

Most women over a certain age die from complications due to a broken hip.  Granted,  not a cheery opening sentence.  But it’s true. And women fall because as we age we lose our balance.  Without balance we cannot move forward.

Take it back to a happier image, none of us remembers when we learned to walk, but it was the day were able to stand up and move forward without the aid of anyone or anything.  We achieved the beginning of our autonomy, physical balance. Off we went.

Another happy balance time, the day we learned to ride a bike.  It took me forever.  My father finally got me to do it alone around the age of twelve.  I was not the most physically coordinated person to ever live. But that moment I could take off on my own without his holding the bike was epic.  I took off.  I had balance and I could not only move forward, but I could move further on my own than I ever had.   Independence baby.

I think there is a confusion about balance, many people think it’s about being able to handle many things at once. That it’s about not dropping the balls, keeping many things in the air.   And one can look at it that way.  But I’ve never considered that balance. To me that is organization. It’s intention. It’s knowing your priorities.   Because if you prioritize and address the things that mean the most your life is in balance. It’s a bigger topic and worthy of its own blog post.

But there is another kind of balance in life.  It’s the balance that comes from the things in our life that keep us tethered to the shore.  It’s all the pieces of the puzzle of our lives connecting that make the picture complete.

Work gives us a form of balance. It makes us feel useful, it gives us income and a sense of identity. And if it’s work we love it empowers us and gives a structure to our time and thus our days.

Family, family,  can go in many ways, but if it works it also gives balance to life.  Kids come with their own built-in set of needs and addressing their needs, I have found gave a constant balance to my life.  Some people farm out the duties and others become overwhelmed and feel out of balance. But for me, they have always given me a great sense of feeling grounded and thus balanced.

But, as we age so many of the things that have given our life structure and balance start to change. Our parents get older and our role switches from child to parent and that completely shifts the balance of life.

Our kids grow up, move out and start families of their own. They may live across the world or even just across town, but either way, the balance of the way we spend our days’ changes in enormous ways.

And the cosmic joke seems to be most of these parts of our life, the parts that have given us balance and continuity and purpose start to move around and away at the same time.  The shifts are seismic.   You can throw in the loss of a spouse or partner, due to divorce or death. Sometimes we are left for someone younger.   But the result is the same.   We need to readjust, often reinvent and repurpose our lives to fit the new scenario.

We need to find a new group of things that gives us balance. Because without that balance just like when we learned to walk or ride a bike we will not be able to move forward into our futures with any vigor, verve, enthusiasm and we will stumble and fall.

We have many years to go, most of us.  Life expectancy is only increasing and modern medicine and healthy living mean we may have thirty more active years.

So we need to find our balance. We need move forward in peace and contentment, living lives of purpose and meaning.   And when we achieve that balance –  we will beam.  We will balance and beam into our future. The future that we create.