How’s Your Balance?

Books. Bullets. Bourbon.

Sometimes I think that’s what I should have named this blog.

I’m a sucker for an alliteration, and those are three of my great loves in life.

But, when it comes right down to it, there’s more to writing than books. There’s more to fighting than just bullets. And there’s more to life than bourbon.

The question is, do you want to be a caricature?

Do you want to be a simplistic drawing, a rendition of your true self that is distilled down into the most readily-recognizable qualities? A version of yourself that is bereft of any of the nuanced details that make you who you really are?

Sure, I like books. Love ‘em. I also like most things that fire bullets, and in fact, I enjoy making bullets themselves—it’s an interesting and exacting science. And I often wrestle with which would be more devastating to my sanity—a worldwide shortage of coffee, beer, or bourbon?

9Z5A3449But those things don’t make me who I am.

So, how do you avoid being a caricature of yourself? Or, in other words, how do you live outside of the box? Or, in still other words, how do you live a life of balance?

Hell, I’m not your life coach. But I got a decent idea.

Balance.

I’m not a Buddhist, but I like to recall the story of Siddartha, sitting by the river, hearing the lute-player tuning his instrument. It was then that Siddartha had an epiphany about living a life in balance, and he described it as “the middle way.”

If you tighten the string too much it will snap. If you leave it too loose it won’t make a sound.

But there’s more to balance than just walking a fine line.

Walking a line is a relatively simple task. And if that’s all you do, then you’ll end up being a relatively simple person—essentially, a caricature: a basic, black-and-white drawing, rife with un-fruited potential. Just a dumbed-down version of what you really could be.

You know how else you maintain balance?

Counterweights.

Seemingly conflicting things that, when held opposite each other, balance each other out.

We are capable of incredible things, and we are capable of incredible versatility.

A truly great life must have contrast. It must have juxtaposition. That contrast is what makes each individual thing wonderful to do, rather than another stale repetition of the same old same old grind.

Adventure is not complete without the quietude of home. Without adventure, the home becomes a prison. Food tastes better when you’re hungry. The couch feels best when you’ve worked hard.

Conversely, if you eat gourmet every meal, it will soon lose its verve. And if you rest all of the time, that couch becomes cloying.

What are the things that have no counter-balance in your life?

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Too much social media, not enough human connection?

Or is it too much human connection, and not enough solitude?

Too much of watching other people’s experiences, not enough of living your own life?

Or have you been so busy living it up that you’re desperate for the quiet life?

An unbalanced machine will very quickly tear itself apart.

Learn how to balance yourself. Things run a lot smoother that way.

 

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5 thoughts on “How’s Your Balance?

  1. Absolutely love your writing, I believe we all have gifts by God’s design and one of your gifts is putting words together for the enjoyment of others. I wish continued success for you. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m where you at this point with not enough time to live my own life. Facebook is the proverbial watercooler for writers, and I spend my days watching other people’s lives. 0_0

    PS – the blog post works without the scales .jpeg 🙂

    Love your work, always have.

    Like

  3. May I share an example of my own? I am a college music teacher (a band director, to be exact), and as far back as I can remember, I always loved both music and teaching. But I could never decide which path I wanted to take. After a fun little career as a rock musician, I finished my degree work and became an elementary school music teacher, although my future still seemed to be conflicted. One of my professors finally mended my dichotomy by asking me a simple question – “Are you a musician who teaches, or a teacher who teaches music?” As soon as he posed that question, everything fell into place. The answer, of course, was “Yes.” I am both things, equally balanced, and that recognition was all I needed to pave the way for all of the happiness and fulfillment of my life. My career and my hobby. My joy and my job (there’s your alliteration). That’s my balance.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is great stuff. I like the imagery of the scale. I read this while traveling, presently situated in the shade at the Southwest corner of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (taking in the surroundings while I wait for it to reopen at 1:30). While most of my trip has been go, go, go, there are moments like this where I just relax, reflect, and try and take it all in to create lasting memories of the different places I have been. Anyway, love your writing–keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

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