Recently on the phone with a friend, I had an epiphany. We'd been sharing our stories of overwhelm, and at the end of my long list of projects, obligations, and worries, I told her, "I haven't quite figured out how to balance it all yet."
I said it as if I were both guilty of something, and hopeful. Like, sure, things were a mess right now, but who knows what might happen tomorrow? I might, in a moment of dazzling clarity hit upon the perfect arrangement of my life, stack up all the pieces just so, and find myself balanced on top, like some sort of superhero-gravity-defying-acrobat.
And that's when the moment of dazzling clarity actually happened. My life isn't supposed to be balanced, at least not in the way I've always thought about balance. It's supposed to be full and meaningful - two things that don't really lend themselves to orderly arrangement.
My epiphany was this: I don't really care about balance. What I care about is love and art, my family and friends, the planet, my dog, kindness. (And yeah, politics. I care about them too.) If, occasionally, I feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with all the things I care about, I can live with that.
I'll leave balancing to the acrobats.