I was chatting to another mom recently. An inspiring sort of mom, the kind who looks effortlessly stylish with a mom bun, kid on hip and locally-made leather handbag strung over her shoulder. She mentioned that she chooses rhythm over balance. This was a cool moment for me, because I have been using this word lately – rhythm. When somebody else used it in the same context that I have been thinking about it, I felt like it’s not just me, it’s an actual thing. You can actually choose rhythm and discard balance.
I choose rhythm. Here are some of the reasons why.
1. Those totally unbalanced days where everything is going wrong, those days are just part of the rhythm
When you choose to embrace rhythm and give up trying to obtain balance in every day, you are allowed the bad days. The low days, even the awful days. These are okay because there is the potential and the hope for tomorrow to be a good day.
When you understand that not every day needs to be perfectly balanced, you can love even the mess. You can love (and forgive) yourself when you snap at your toddler and make her cry while you are trying to navigate the traffic in the morning. You will know that your low moment does not take away from your high moments. Later you will jump on the bed in fits of giggles with your toddler and you will realise that it is okay to be both. It is perhaps better to be both than to be balanced.
2. You can be extreme
I love this. My ultimate goal is to pursue slow, to slow down that rhythm. But sometimes things get really fast in the midst of the pursuit. This is okay. There is an ultimate goal, a grand master plan so as to say. How it is now will not define what it will be, but what it will be will impact what I choose now.
It might be necessary to be extreme for a season, because of the grand master plan. Balance does not allow extreme, balance calls for the grand master plan to fall in to place now. Balance is not extreme, it is a daily tension of trying to be a bit of everything but extremely nothing.
I choose rhythm, I choose to let it all play out with it’s highs and lows, fasts and slows, and allow something beautiful to take shape.
3. You don’t have to feel less when you look at other people’s lives – they have a different rhythm
Some people will be living their highs at the same time that you are living your lows. When you embrace rhythm, you will see these people and it will inspire you to expect highs in your life too. When you are trying to find balance, you will look at these people and you will feel envy. You will wonder how they do it. You will look at your own life, with its lows and its extremes and you will wonder why you just can’t seem to find the balance that you are looking for.
And remember this, we are all showing one another our highs, editing out our lows. How often have I chatted to another woman who tells me that my life looks inspiring. How often do I think that her life looks way more inspiring than mine. How refreshing is it to find out she also has lows, how refreshing is it to learn to be vulnerable with one another.
AREAS WHERE I EMBRACE RHYTHM OVER BALANCE
Sometimes I eat cheese with a bit more cheese and some cheese on the side and how many glasses of red wine? I think it was just two, and a half. I am not sure who finished that bottle. Sometimes I am the poster child for a clean living, whole foods diet.
Sometimes I let them watch more television than they should because I just need a break. Sometimes I declare that the day is far too beautiful to waste with television and we head outdoors on an adventure.
Sometimes I get nothing done, sometimes I wonder if I will ever get anything done. Sometimes I am on fire.
What about you?
Perhaps this is all just ancient wisdom? I am reminded of these words from the book of Ecclesiastes…
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.”