Every morning my house is a chaotic mess. We are always rushing, we are always late, we are always tired, we are always anxious. I must go up and down the stairs at least twenty times to herd a tween, a teen, a husband and a dog, without counting I am also getting ready to leave to the gym or start painting, making beds, preparing breakfast and lunch. By eight I breath only to start going through my to do list. An endless struggle to try to be perfect at everything and feeling short of great at almost nothing. It is as if I am in the threadmill getting nowhere while I am juggling family, work, friends and personal life.Obviously, that feeling sometimes lasts shortly while one of those balls I am juggling seems to strike a good note. However it seems I can never have that perfect balance and have all of them in the air.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend an event with Elizabeth Gilbert, better know for being the author of "Eat, pray, love". If you have not read her books I strongly recommend them as well as her TED presentation because of her funny, witty narrative. When asked how she managed her personal and professional life she made a comment that stroke me with the same force of revelation than the first sight of a star at dusk. She said: "balance is a weapon women use against themselves. All it does is to make us feel bad we have not gotten it yet."
And then I realized I, along with most women I know (I guess it also happens to men, but they do not get PMS and miss the moment when we question everything) are always chasing an elusive golden fleece called balance. That moment while I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert I realized that the real goal was to understand we will never have all of the areas of our life in perfect symphony, and if we ever do will be for a very fleeting moment. Nobody can be in a tightrope for long. The winner is not the one that stays there the longest, but the one that smiles while she does it: smile when a ball fails, smile when the hands get tired, smile when we are a mess and we cannot juggle at all or walk in a staight line.
And now I leave to herd my tribe again and prepare my tomorrow's to-do list, put kids to bed, go down to the kitchen to take the chicken out of the freezer, fold laundry, talk to my husband and finish something I have been meaning to write for a while. But I am smiling because in the midst of my chaotic life I am perfectly, unbalancedly happy.