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Howling and Getting Messy

It’s Sunday and I absolutely hate Sundays. I wake up knowing there are looming responsibilities ahead and blog posts to write and Facebook pages to update. There’s work I stupidly brought home on Friday thinking I’ll get to so I won’t have as much to do the following week, but it somehow stays in my car over the weekend collecting dust. I put a lot of my Sunday chores off until the minute on Monday because I absolutely HATE doing any sort of work on the weekends. So why do I bring work home on the weekend and not write blog posts during the week instead?

My desperate need for balance.

I am, by my genetic disposition, an overachiever and tend to be a workaholic when I can get away with it. As a modern woman I sometimes feel like I have to expertly maintain a balance between work and home, being active and enjoying the fruits of the Pacific Northwest. No one places these expectations on me except me and the hamster in my brain. Maybe I read too many magazines but I keep thinking there’s a magical Pot O’ Balance and if I keep turning over rocks, I just MIGHT find it. I was like that in college when I refused to focus on just one class and let the others go and I’m like that as an adult. Luckily, the Universe had an answer for me this week when this article landed on my Facebook feed and made me stop and re-think the whole idea of balance. For those of you who didn’t click on the link, the author summarizes the act of trying to finding balance by saying, fuck balance! We aren’t meant to find balance! We were born to shift and be selfish and howl and get messy.

Powerful words, huh? I wish I had written them, but I didn’t so I printed them out and put them on my computer. My journal is full of lists on ways in which I “should” be finding the elusive Pot O’ Balance instead of just howling and getting messy. Finding balance is what prevents me from sitting still for too long or just enjoying the moment before moving on to something else. That’s not to say I’m not curious because I will always be curious, but trying to find work/life balance is never going to happen so maybe it’s just time for me to jump head-first into the void and enjoy the ride. Mark Twain once wrote, “What is joy without sorrow? What is success without failure? What is a win without a loss? What is health without illness? You have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other.” That Samuel Clemens sure was smart.

What about you, Gentle Reader? Do you keep searching for the Pot O’ Balance or have you learned to “sod it all” and howl and get messy?

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About Anna Alexander

I am a freelance writer and producer living in the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I live with our cat Grendel who lets us pay his mortgage.

2 responses »

  1. I think we are told we always have to color inside the lines and get everything done in a timely manner. Sadly what works in elementary school is not how life is. Real life, especially at work, is all a matter of not enough time/resources and prioritizing.

    So much stress is related to the feeling we are supposed to accomplish EVERYTHING when that is just impossible. And even if you do get it all done, forces will quickly work to add more than you can get done. “No good deed goes unpunished” and getting all your work done on time impresses but just means more work gets chucked at you.

    Knowing what *has* to get done and then being able to defend why you didn’t get certain stuff done I think is probably the hardest but most essential element of becoming and adult.

    Reply
  2. It’s all about expectations and boundries we set for ourselves. We CAN find some balance if can be realistic in our choices. At work, we have the expectations of others but there are times when we can say no. When someone asks a favor on the weekend and we just want to stay home and veg…it’s ok to say no. I know…easier said than done I used to hate Sundays…even as a kid and through my 30’s. . In order to not waste my energy on how crappy the day was ‘going to be’ I tried to find positive things that distracted me from the things that bothered me. I turned sunday into a fun day…no projects, no have to’s….it was a free day. It wasn’t easy and it took years, but now, it’s a good day. And, last night, I howled at the full moon : )

    Reply

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