Thursday, May 31, 2012


4 inches wide, 16 feet long, and 4 foot high.  Those are the dimensions of a gymnastic balance beam.  An apparatus that decides the all round winner in women’s gymnastics.  At some point in the all around rotation, the competitors must complete a 90 second routine that consists of tumbling passes, leaps, turns, mounting and dismounting.  A fall from the beam could mean the difference of a gold medal, and not placing at all.

The key to winning a gold medal is balance.

Balance is a key to more than gymnastics.  Balance is the key to success in your own life.  All work and no play makes for a very stressful life.  All play and no work makes for a stressful life.  There has to be a balance.

My current employment demands a lot of my time.  I’ve been all work and no play for several weeks running.  A couple of weeks ago my daughter gave me a call on my cell phone. 

“Dad, can we BBQ when you get home from work?”

That sounded great, “Sure, as long as we are not cooking hamburgers.”

I hear her talking to my wife, then she comes back on the phone, “Can we have a fire and do Smors?”

“That sounds like a lot of fun,” I reply.
I was able to wrap up what I was doing and headed home.  It was interesting because the rest of the day went a lot smoother, I was looking forward to BBQing something (other than hamburgers) and making Smors.  So when I got home we set up a picnic in the back yard, got a fire in the fire pit, and the grill going, my wife made a potato salad, and I got the meat on the grill.  Lawn chairs, card table, food, the impromptu cookout was just what I needed.   It got me to thinking about balance in life.  I work hard, and I am hopeful that the hard work will pay off down the road and I’ll have a bit more free time later, and I can get that balance I am looking for in my own life.

Yet having those play plans set in motion did so much for my own attitude at work.  That work life balance.  We are all on a balance beam, only 4” wide.  If we can balance our professional lives, with our personal lives we can find some of that all elusive happiness everyone keeps seeking.

What are some of the things you do to find your balance?


E.B. Black said...

It's especially hard, I think, for writer's to have that balance because for most writers, writing is their second job and they have kids. There's hardly enough time for writing, let alone, anything else.

Precy Larkins said...

Good question. And it's something I'll have to pay particular attention to as I near the end of my pregnancy--once baby comes, the household dynamic we have going on at the moment is going to drastically change. And then there's the matter of writing. Now that I have an agent, there's even more the pressure of creating...writing more books. I will have to remember to keep my life on an even keel. It won't be easy, for sure. But I'm determined to give it my best shot. :)