Saturday, February 12, 2011


Sometimes I like to say that I maintain balance by being unbalanced in different ways from day to day. What I mean by that is if A, B, C, and D are various projects or things I am working on (or sometimes, sleeping and eating are items also treated in this manner), then one day I neglect A and B to focus on C and D, then the next few days maybe do the opposite, and just keeping juggling everything around so that nothing gets completely dropped, but I get to maintain a certain level of sanity by not committing 100% to every item every day (what my sizable super-responsible side would prefer, but my reasonably realistic side realizes is not actually quite possible). I don't know how truly accurate a description this is of the way a live my life, but there is definitely an element of truth to it and, truth be told, I like it that way. I would rather be balanced by being unbalanced in a creative way than by, well, actually being balanced.

"Balanced" and "stable" for me are words that actually have connotations of "boring." Perhaps that means I'm a little bit crazy, but it also means I'd rather be a little bit crazy. Only a little bit, though, because I would also like to maintain partial sanity. I don't want to be the same person in the same mood with the same behavior every day. I don't want to be completely unemotional in my reactions to life. But I also want to be responsible and trustworthy, and I want to be able to maintain a certain level of composure before other people (not that I never let myself lose composure in front of my friends).

Oddly, these aren't the meanings of the word "balance" that I really meant to write about. You see, there is one sense of the word in which I very much want it, rather than wanting to achieve balance by not having it or only achieve it to a certain point. This sense might be a little harder for me to explain. I want to have balance in "input" versus "output". I don't mean give and take in relationships (not that that's a bad thing), and I don't mean working on productive things versus taking refreshing leisure time (also not a bad thing, and somewhat related to what I mean). I mean the difference between reading a book and writing it. The difference between studying and writing in my diary. The difference between listening to music and playing it. Consumption versus creativity.

I have to have balance between these two, or I'm not right on the inside. If my life goes too heavily on the "input" side, it isn't good for my ability to keep going with it. I feel like there isn't any room left in my brain for more. I feel stifled. I feel out of touch with what's going on in my own mind and heart. So I have to go write in my diary, or write a poem, or write a blog post, or play music in a creative and expressive way (something that doesn't always happen if I'm playing music because I have to), before I can go back to the other things.

Of course, I can go far enough in the other direction that I need a break from that, too. If I've written or played myself out, I can feel exhausted, depleted, not have enough in me for one more line or phrase. And then I want to go read, or have a long conversation with someone about something completely unrelated.

And that, my friends, is my explanation for why I am posting on this blog today, even though it would be very easy to make the argument that I do not have time.

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