Today’s writing prompt, from Gabriela Pereira and her amazing DIYMFA Book Club, is about balance and honoring reality. Realizing that there is room enough for both things (writing and living) in your life.
True to form, my schedule didn’t allow me time to think or write on this topic until this morning. And I’m allocating an hour to do so, because it’s a beautiful day, there is pruning to do, and I can’t sit in a chair for more than an hour anyway.
As with all difficult topics, I start with the dictionary. My handy, American Heritage Dictionary, which I won in 1975 in a writing contest, has fifteen entries for balance, which include: “3. A stable state characterized by cancellation of all forces by equal opposing forces. 4. A state of bodily equilibrium. 5. A stable mental or psychological state; emotional equilibrium.” And possibly my favorite – “6. A harmonious or satisfying arrangement or proportion of parts or elements, as in a design or composition.”
All the dictionary definitions address the give and take of opposing forces. I’ve found that all forces are not equal, and rarely do they cancel each other out in any reasonable timeframe. Rather, a broader horizon is needed to evaluate balance. In my earlier years, I put writing on the back burner (I had an uncle that actively discouraged me to write, but that’s another blog post), and engage in a financially appropriate career. The scales of my balance beam tipped way to one side and I threw myself into several fields looking for the creative outlet that writing would have provided. All the while I journaled, wrote non-fiction articles, and picked away at a novel. I honored my reality of the time by working hard, dabbling in writing, and dreaming of a time when I could focus on it full time.
Flash forward (although the actual time didn’t flash at all – at times it seemed to crawl as slow as a worm across the sidewalk after a rain). I’m able to focus on writing, but other things have popped up to challenge me. Things I didn’t have while working, like friends, time to exercise, ten acres to take care of, a fledgling agri-business to run. Sometimes I think that I purposely throw barriers in front of myself to draw me away from writing. The truth is far more interesting. Life is what you make of it. I love my friends, learn through my business, and feel better than I ever have. Writing is how I think through things, analyze my actions, dive into my imagination. Everything else I do feeds that beast; gives me ideas, distance, and enthusiasm to write when I do spend the hours in front of my computer.
So, in a way, I can’t relate one incidence of a time when I “honored my reality,” because I do it every day. I call it life.