March 13, 2012

Balance is an Elusive Lady

“Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.”

- Thomas à Kempis

My life has been more chaotic and stressful (gosh, I already hate myself for saying that because my life is so lame and ridiculous in comparison to the struggles of so many other people) in the last couple of months than I can ever remember it being. It's not that I've never felt stressed out before. High school and college were pretty stressful, relatively speaking anyway. It's amazing how much more stress we can take on with each passing year. Anyway, this is the first time where I haven't seen much of an end in sight. Typically, you get stressed out because something is pending, and you're just anticipating it and working through the difficult stuff to come out on the other side. I keep seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is consistently just out of my grasp.

I feel like I've been a real jack of all trades but master of none this past year or so. I feel like a jester with spinning plates; and, for every one plate that I learn to add to the ones I'm spinning, another one goes flying off in another direction to crash. Just when I have my bills under control or my work load to a manageable amount, I fail to RSVP to a party or return a phone call to a friend. As soon as I feel successful in a new venture, my husband or a friend feels like I'm selfish and have been ignoring them. I'm not saying they're wrong. I don't mean to be or do either of those things. Ever.

I really do try. And I know what Yoda says about that, but, gosh dang it, sometimes try is all we have. I take on too much, and things inevitably slip my mind, no matter how important they are to me or how many times I wrote myself a note to make sure I wouldn't forget. I get tired, I say things I don't mean, I don't say things I mean to, I let the stress from work and commuting and doing mundane tasks really get to me...and it's not okay. Something's gotta give.

I constantly feel like I'm picking up the pieces of all the broken plates, broken relationships, broken promises (a.k.a. good intentions), and it's exhausting. Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm easily stressed out. Maybe I need to change the way I operate. I am completely open to that. Sometimes, though, I think. STOP. STOP thinking that everything that goes wrong means there's something wrong with you. In almost any given situation, there are going to be a million reasons why both parties involved are at fault or not. There is always room for improvement, always something you could've done differently, better. When is it enough? When are you enough? When are we okay?

You can't please everyone. And when your being pleased with yourself revolves around everyone in the world being pleased with you, you're just fighting a losing battle. How do we stop doing that? How do I stop doing that? Where does my responsibility end? How do I know what things are and are not the direct result of my actions or lack thereof?

Balance is my goal. The most elusive goal in life. It's so frustrating to know there must be an objective answer about black, white, and everything in between when I can only see things subjectively. Well, I just wasted twenty minutes of work time. Although maybe it wasn't a waste after all. Who's to say really? (My employer, I guess.)