At this point in life, my priorities are pretty clear, and all equally important, or darn close. One of my frustrations has been that I want to focus on just one priority at a time. When investing in my relationships, I don’t want to deal with work stuff. If I’m in the middle of a writing deadline, I don’t want to stop for a phone call. In the early morning, the time when I do the few things that fill and sustain me for the rest of the day, getting derailed can send me into a tailspin that can last all day. Exercise is a lifeline, and when my schedule suddenly doesn’t have room for a workout, my spirits start to droop, not to mention my thighs.
I just want to focus on one thing at a time! Is that too much to ask??
As a matter of fact, it is.
Life comes at us in rich and multifaceted ways, and yet we seem determined to corral the various parts of our lives into neatly phrased metaphors.
Take work-life balance for instance. I’ve never cottoned to the idea, and it conjures up images of a teeter-totter. Work sitting on one end, life (I guess that means everything else) on the other. But from what I remember, the fun comes in going up and down, not in attempting to keep both ends evenly up in the air. Balanced in the middle, nothing is happening on either end, except working mightily to keep things right where they are.
An idea I like more, but that still doesn’t quite get at it, is juggling. A bit more playful, but keeping all of those various balls in the air is tricky, and more often than not, at least in my case, they all end up on the floor anyway.
While wandering through some photos the other day, I landed on a different approach.
I’ve decided to trade in the teeter-totter and the juggling act for the dance floor.
Think about it. All of the various parts of our lives are like dance partners, inviting us to another part of the floor. Dance is an ongoing interaction between us and the music, and if we don’t try and force it, we find our own natural rhythm, and it is a joy to behold.
Years ago I was at a wonderful celebration. We were all enjoying dinner at tables surrounding the dance floor, and as the band played on, most of us seemed to be focused on our wine and dinner, leaving the dancing for later. But there was a magnificent 90 year old woman from Greece at the party who suddenly stood up, grabbed her wine glass, and made her way, by herself, to the dance floor. Before losing herself to the music, she looked at the rest of us, and with a Zorba-The-Greek kind of flourish said, “I can always eat. I want to dance!”
I think Ben agrees with her!
See you on the dance floor!