Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Myth of Balance

        Ah, balance. That elusive, Zen-like state we all strive for. In today’s world, how many of us can claim to have a balanced life? Between the demands of work, family, and unexpected challenges, some things have to be put on the back burner until you can get to them. Logically speaking, while you’re doing one thing, another must wait. So, is there ever really a balance?

            I speak from the experience of a full time mom of three who tries to fit writing time into my day. But, most of us can relate. Our days easily get filled with both work and hobbies, until we’re juggling more than we can handle, a far cry from balance.

            The word balance suggests a picture of all things left satisfied, nothing left in crucial need. Round and round, a happy carousel of completed chores and activities. It’s about as unrealistic as a soap opera.

            When it comes down to it, I think what we work toward are discipline and focus. These words don’t imply complete fulfillment of every need at all times. Instead, they suggest a commitment to finishing what we start and being able to keep our attention on a task until we either complete it or have to shelve it for later access.

            This is the more realistic expectation. In this scenario, the dishes can be left in the sink for a day or two, the clothes left on the floor, and the dog left dirty until we accomplish something we need to focus on. My own hope is that I can stick to one set block of time to write or do task X until I have to move on to something else. Some days, I’m flitting around like the hummingbirds that visit our feeder, never perching long enough to really feel like I’ve accomplished anything.

            Writing-wise, I want to work toward forgetting those dishes (or whatever) for a while so I can sit down and achieve a decent word count. I want to be focused enough so that I can handle the inevitable distractions of my three-year-old, take care of his needs, and sit back down to finish what I started. And to have the discipline to know when to quit and tackle the chores that need tackling and to know how to prioritize them so nothing reaches hyper-critical, self-destruct mode.

            I’m still working toward that goal, but I’m glad to say that I’ve dropped the dream of balance. I’m pretty sure it would take me shaving my head and living in a Tibetan monastery before I achieved anything close to that myth. And I don’t think the bald thing would work for me.

            Q & A time: What tasks are you trying to juggle? Do you think one can ever reach true balance?
Mysti Parker is a full-time wife, mom of three, and a writer. Born and raised in Kentucky, writing has always been her first love. After many years of pursuing other things, she began her writing career in earnest in 2009. Look for more romantic tales from her fantasy world of Tallenmere, where magic, passion, murder, and mayhem are a part of everyday life.
A Ranger's Tale  by Mysti Parker

Paperback, E-book, or Kindle, 186 pages
Published January 29th 2011 by Melange Books
ISBN 9781612351

 "Elves, wizards, and hot romance!" ~Lyn Horner, author of Darlin' Druid
“…I was completely surprised by how involved I became in the story. The fantastical world created by the author became very real to me and as a reader that is a very good thing.” ~ Wendy Mitchell, You Gotta Read Reviews
Mysti Parker has hit one out of the ballpark …I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this world and this story which I read in a single sitting - I couldn't put it down.” ~ WildAboutBones, Goodreads Reviewer
Once upon a time an elven noblewoman longed to leave her gilded cage. A half-breed former pirate wanted nothing more than to escape his guilty past. Easier said than done...
                In the fantasy world of Tallenmere, the high elf, Caliphany Aranea, nearly a century old, has never been allowed to travel farther than a few miles out of the capital city of Leogard. Her father, Sirius, leads the Mage Academy, and after losing his only son, he expects Caliphany to take his place one day. The trouble is, she doesn't want to study magic and doubts she'll ever be as good a wizard as her father. She dreams of leaving Leogard to explore the world and strike out on her own--lofty goals for Sirius' daughter, who also happens to be King Leopold's niece. 
            When two brutes at Leogard Harbor attempt to kidnap her while she dreams of faraway lands, half-elf ship captain and ranger, Galadin Trudeaux, comes to her rescue. From their first chance encounter, to the finale, where Caliphany must decide where her heart truly lies, she and Galadin will face more adventure, more love, more heartache, than they ever thought possible. Through it all, they discover the power of forgiveness and of a love that stands the test of time.
A Ranger's Tale available now at: Melange BooksAmazon.comBarnes & Noble, and many other online stores!
Visit me at GoodreadsFacebook, or  Twitter (@MystiParker)


journaljim said...

Hi Mysti,
Balance? No way. I feel like I live on a sisyphean ship that is sinking every day and the only way to save the ship is to push something overboard. My daughter, my wife, my job, and my writing are each standing on a plank over the shark-infested waters. By the end of each day, I must push one of them off to save the ship for another day. Sadly, it's an easy choice and splash goes the writing.

Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

Mila Ramos said...

I believe in the myth of balance. I think I actually believe that I will one day find it...somewhere.... hopefully in the laundry basket or something.

Really loved the post Mysti. Awesome.