I realize that 'balance' can be perceived many different ways: equality, the balance of composition in art, or having/creating physical balance, for example. But today, I am thinking in terms of 'finding balance'. Probably because this is something that I am forever working to maintain in my life. As soon as I saw this theme, I knew what I wanted to do. So I set off to have a little photo shoot to capture the thoughts that were swirling in my head, and then I put them together on a digital scrapbook page using MDS. I hadn't made one of these in a while and thought it would be good to use my computer for something other than blog surfing and pinterest... I had a bit of a creative epiphany as I was trying to coach my daughter through framing the shot and deciding which pose looked best. I had both girls do their own balancing act as I snapped pictures, and I absolutely love that none of us did it the same way!
When my oldest was diagnosed with ADD, I read everything I could get my hands on in an effort to 'help' her. What I found was that she didn't need my help. She wasn't broken, she just had a different way of seeing and doing things. I also realized that while I didn't have a professional diagnosis, I too had ADD. This explains why I can completely throw myself into a project, totally lose track of time, and 'check out' from everything else that is going on around me. It also explains a lot of my procrastination issues. Somehow, in my case, my personality and strengths led me to focus on and enjoy academics (which is why this was never perceived as a school problem for me).
So what does this have to do with balance and my page? While you can't see my journaling (on a separate paper to be attached to the back), I wrote about the way my balance (and my daughters' as well) is perceived and viewed by others. I tend to commit on an extreme level when I do things. If I'm on a committee or volunteering, that will be my primary focus and other things can just wait. I know I'm like this, so I try to only sign up for things that I am passionate about. After all, if it's taking away from family time or me time, shouldn't it be very important?! I've worked very hard on making the word 'no' a part of my vocabulary, even when others are telling me that I surely have a little time to help with (insert latest event here). "No" has become a necessity to my balance.
I also explored the idea that my balance isn't always about making things 'even' as much as it is prioritizing. My daily balance is NEVER equal. Some days I won't touch a thing in the house because I'm busy reading, creating, or doing something with family. Other times, I might commit several days to cleaning and organizing. I need to embrace the fact that my definition of balance is taking care of the priority for that day and not feeling guilty about the things that didn't get accomplished.
I think the hardest part of understanding balance is that it doesn't look the same for everyone. I have a friend who travels a lot through her job, volunteers often, and is constantly on the go with her kids activities. My initial reaction is to shake my head at how she chooses to balance her life. But she is not me. She is incredibly organized to a fault, has an immaculate home, and lives to have everything on a schedule. This makes her happy and her family is very happy as well. On the other hand, she could view me as being very untidy, unorganized, and (gasp) lazy as I read and create instead of 'doing things'. Perhaps she does, but she also knows that I can drop everything to be where I'm needed, a luxury she doesn't always have. Our senses of balance are very different, but we are both happy.
This page really helped me think about the way my brain works and using that to my advantage instead of trying to make myself into someone I'm not. I also realized that I need to sandwich those nasty priorities (like cleaning) in between the things I love to do. Make a card, do a load of laundry, make a scrapbook page, sweep a floor, do a journal page, wash dishes (hmmm... maybe do 2 journal pages before this one...) But even if I don't get all of the cleaning done, I will still be me and that's not such a bad thing after all...
Well, I didn't intend for this to be quite this long, and I hope that it wasn't too 'bunny trailed' for you to follow my train of thought. I also hope that perhaps it will help someone who is at this moment being too critical of their own sense of balance. Life is too short to spend it comparing yourself to someone who is nothing like you... I will be back soon with a Shadow scrapbook page that was also inspired by balance. Have a fabulous week and happy crafting!!