Finding balance

By March 7, 2012asides, misc.

Let me be clear.. SOME things should be unbalanced. SOME things need to be fully weighted in one direction, and unapologetic about it.

But most things, need balance.

It’s a constant struggle for me, finding balance between all of the things in my life.  I spend a great deal of time trying to figure out how much of my attention should go into my music, when my life is filled with so many things that require (and deserve) so much attention.  But the problem is never as cut and dry as I’d like it to be, and it infinitely splits into smaller problems.  For instance, family time vs me time.  Sounds simple enough… to be a good father & husband, I NEED to have some time on my own, to rest, to realign myself with my goals, to pursue my own interests.  But within my allotted “me time”, it splits into a new problem..  music vs making things vs running…   making things splits into software vs house projects vs electronics vs ….

(This ties pretty heavily to previous posts where I’ve talked about how many types of things I’m interested in, and how that may or may not be a good thing.)

But even outside of “me” decisions, there’s a question of balance. As a father, I try daily to figure out how to balance my responses to my children, and their behavior.  I want to be stern, consistent, impactful… but not all of the time. I don’t want them growing up thinking of me as the overly strict guy who yelled a lot.

My oldest can start pre-k in the fall, and now I’m faced with questions of balance for him.  How hard do we push him? How much do we expect? How do we help vs let him struggle and figure things out for himself?  It goes on and on.

So, with all of these outstanding questions of balance, some deep and some not, I spend a good deal of time trying to find a sweet spot, the “right balance”. And I’m beginning to realize that the idea of a “sweet spot” is the problem.  That implies that there is a specific proportion to be found, and that once it’s found, everything will fit. This is NOT true (for me, at least.)

I’m starting to see that I’ve been missing a dimension in my daily search for balance. Time.

I’m beginning to realize that there’s a variable “swing” that can happen with balance. “Balance” here is not “everything being of equal weight”, but actually “everything in it’s right proportion”.  The distinction is small, but HUGE.  Sometimes, I need to be a father 100%, and individual 0%. Sometimes, I need to be a musician 90%, everything else gets to fight over that remain 10%.

It DOESN’T mean, that I should be 50% musician/50% father all of the time.  That’d make for a crappy father, and a crappy guitar player.

The point is, that it’s not equal, but it’s also not constant. “For everything, there is a season.”