A Balancing Act
by Ruby Bayan - 11/30/04
You’ve seen them: tightrope walkers, clowns on 10-foot stilts, unicycle riders teetering a pyramid of glassware on their foreheads. You watch them in awe and amazement, and say to yourself, I wish I could do a balancing act like that!
When you think about it, though, you’ll realize that all this time, you’ve been doing some kind of balancing act – maybe not in a circus dome, but in the big dome of life.
I remember, when I was in school, my balancing act was with my parents, my grades, and my friends. My parents expected me to get good grades, but my friends wanted me to have fun and hang out with them. I enjoyed being with my friends but I also wanted to make my parents happy. Of course, I also wanted to make the most of the time and money we were spending for my education.
Somehow, I that act went well – I was able to nurture long-lasting friendships with friends who also valued education. We all rose to the top of our class, making our parents and ourselves happy. We all heard the applause the day we graduated.
Then I moved on to the corporate world. Another balancing act: employers, peers, work pressures, and personal issues. I wanted to work hard to prove my worth, but I also knew I had to take care of my body, mind, and spirit. I wanted to please my employers but I wouldn’t sell my soul. I wanted to be rich but not at the expense of others.
I barely got away with that routine because I had another act going on in the sidelines: I was raising a family. Balancing career, family, and personal growth turned out to be the toughest and most action-packed feat I’ve had to carry out. It was the most challenging, complete with tumbles, spills, mop-ups, and tears. There were successes, too, complete with confetti and dances of joy. But as far as I could tell, the audience reaction was mixed.
Did I survive that act? I think so. I’m still alive. And with a new balancing act on my hands called mid-life. I now have a second career, a different milieu, and a ton of experience from previous lives. How it will all pan out is something to look forward to.
Looking closely at all the juggling we do in our lives – the falls and broken glassware, the triumphs and cheers – we realize that life is a series of intricate and precision-based balancing acts that require sharp focus and years of practice. Dressing as a clown and walking on stilts, that’s easy.