I'm going to start out by naming a big fat lie that has plagued us all. . . "You just need to find the perfect balance" Ummm, I know I have only been alive for 34 years, but I have yet to find the "perfect" balance. I'm discovering that to be an unrealistic expectation. But just because things aren't perfectly balanced doesn't mean they aren't balanced. Stick with me. . .
I started to think about this in design terms. When I style a shelf, for example, there isn't always equal things on every shelf or even each side of the shelf. Even if you aren't a designer or have the ability to explain why 1 item right here and 3 items right there looks balanced, you can see it! To your untrained, naked eye it looks 'right'.
In good design there is a mix of symmetry and asymmetry. When both are present it gives the space a more balanced feel. Its the same with color, shapes, textures, size, new and old, etc. Its the beautiful blend of all these things that create a space that feels good and represents you.
Life is the same way. Its a blend of so many different things! Yet, somehow we've strayed away from this type of balance and have believed the lie that we have to have equal amounts of everything. Or that we have to do fill in the blank because that is what is expected of us.
When we decided to homeschool our kids this year I had all these plans and expectations (I know... I can almost hear all the moms laughing!) I quickly realized that I could no longer do everything I once was. Homeschooling and running a business is no walk in the park! I could either hold myself to those expectations and beat myself up or change my expectations.
I chose to change my expectations.
I'm continually learning to say 'yes' to the right things and 'no' to even some good ones. And like most things, with practice it gets easier.
Back to the shelf. . .
When I'm styling a shelf, I'm selective and intentional with what I put on it. I can't have everything on it all the time and expect it to work. Just because I like it and think its pretty doesn't mean it has to be on the shelf right now. It takes time and a lot of adjusting until you get it just right. But, if you're like me, the season changes and so my decor does too. Its a fun way to bring back things that I love, while letting other things rest for a time.
Sounds a lot like life, huh?
I know I'm stating the obvious when I say nature works in seasons, but sometimes I think we forget! We remove ourselves from the same seasonal flow of life and expect it to somehow work better.
We need to let go of the expectation that all aspects of our lives in every season are going to be perfectly balanced. Its just not realistic.
So, here's what we've learned thru styling our shelf today:
Balance doesn't always look like balance
Accept the seasons
Adjust your expectations
Keep pursuing balance, but don't lose sight of your priorities in the process.
Create with purpose.