Wednesday, March 12, 2014

On The Balance Beam

I feel like I'm on a balance beam, only I don't have all the skills I used to.  When I was a gymnast I progressed from learning to walk on it without falling off, to doing a back walk-over, the most advanced skill I accomplished.

This is eleven seconds.  I want you to know what I'm talking about.


I did it on those taller ones you see behind her.  (I learned it on the low one she's on, that way you don't DIE trying...)  As in, you could easily break your neck if you haven't practiced it enough until it's as easy as...breathing.

I'm trying to balance everything in my life again, now that I'm free and clear to DO my life again.  I feel like I'm starting over, though.

Before I got sick, and yes, you're sick of my being sick stories but I think this analogy is worth it so bear with me if you would, or go away if you're done with me whining, I don't care...yes I do...please keep reading...Before I got sick I was able to balance all the elements in my life as if I were the gymnast on the balance beam doing the back-walkover.

I've lost the skill.  Being NOT allowed to do my life (you can't be on your feet, you can't leave the house, blah blah blah restrictions) sorta chained me to my bed.  I did get a lot done online, which was great, and distracting and useful.  However, for two months, the rest of my life was on hold.

"Stuff" got done.  Kind people fetched prescriptions.  Sweet people randomly dropped off meals.  The Transporter patiently took my totally OCD with way too many details lists to the grocery store and we kept food in the house.  The Engineer cooked, the boys did dishes, they all did laundry.  Life went on.  I sat and watched.

Now I'm well.  I can do anything, but not too much, not too fast, not for very long, and I can't do more than I can, if that makes sense.  My ability to find synonyms is gone with the asthma drugs.  Temporarily.  I hope.

Today I felt like myself.  For the first time since January.  I feel like all of winter just flew by, and I step outside and it's spring.  The flower beds are calling to me, the errands need to be done, the taxes (egads...) need to be done before the craziness of April begins. (Um, you have heard of the whole alphabet thing we've got going on?  If not, click on that tab up there that says A-Z Challenge and then sign-up.)  I need to clean my office.  

I need to...learn to walk the balance beam again.  Balance family, writing, blogging, the A-Z Challenge, my friends, the class I teach, and on and on.

Where is the girl who used to do the back-walkovers?  I don't know.  As far as I can tell, she's learning to walk that narrow (it's 4") beam without falling off.  Falling off wouldn't be so bad for the normal person, but for me, falling off would mean back to square one, which started the whole thing. Don't want to go there.

How do you balance all that your life requires?


Andrew Leon said...

What? We did our taxes a long time ago.

My way of balancing has always been "go too fast to fall off!" Besides, it's much more spectacular when you do fall, that way.

Elsie Amata said...

I was an avid gymnast many moons ago. My nickname was…wait for it…

The Rubber Band!

Now, I don't think I could do a proper roundoff to save my life. I think I'm still good on cartwheels but it's been a year since I tried.

I understand what you're going through. Having the rug ripped out from under you when you're sick, well, it stinks. Finding that precarious balance can be difficult.

I'm glad to hear things are getting better for you!! =)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We're glad you're back on track. You've kept up with us online, but I'm sure you want to do real life stuff as well.
Balance is know when to say when. And sometimes, it's a smoke trick with mirrors.

Brian Miller said...

i am ever trying to walk that balance life is fairly controlled chaos considering family, grad school, work etc...then all the side's heart throws it all out of balance...

JoJo said...

I'm so glad you are starting to feel better and more like yourself! The only way I am able to balance everything is by not having a job. If I had to work full time plus commute, I would have to cram everything into evenings and weekends. The point of Russell wanting me to stay home is so that I can devote my time to him when he's home on weekends instead of running around, and also so that I can be there for the kids.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've never learned how to balance my life. I know the theory, but the practise eludes me. I'm so glad you're feeling better - it must have been so hard. Everything will slot into place eventually :-)

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

Hopefully getting back on a balance beam is like getting back on a bike... you never forget!

Jane Jazz said...

I found this really touching and inspirational, having suffered a big health crash myself.
Those bleak times when your mind is the only that's working can be hard to get through. I'm pleased you came out the other side... and I'm in really in awe of your gymnastic past, being slightly unbalanced myself! JJ

CA Heaven said...

I've never tried the balance beam, which was only for the girls, but I think the men's apparatuses (apparati?) were fun. I've fallen off the parallel bars with head first a few times (it's important to press the arms out in the shoulder rolls) >:)

Cold As Heaven

amanda lee said...

I don't do more than I can -- anymore. During that final race "to the finish" with raising teens and going to school and interning and then renovating and moving and so on, I made myself sick. I started having debilitating flares, terrible arthritis, had difficulty stepping up or down from a curb, constant pain -- it hurt to be touched. I learned that I have limits, and those limits change with chronic illness, age, finances, etc. For me, I need to remind myself, at times when I am not flaring, not to overdo it, because that can bring on a flare. The trick becomes knowing where my limits are.

Jo said...

Glad you are more or less back to normal. My advice, don't try. If you can't cope with everything at once, don't. Things will come back gradually, don't push it. You are more important than all the tasks you might attempt. Slow down, smell those roses - maybe not, but you know the symbolism. Take it easy.

Andrea said...

I typically drop something!

klahanie said...

Hi human, Tina,

I was hoping you might do a thoughtful analogy in relation to your days when you were quite the gymnast. Your pawst is most emotive and much food for thought.

As you get better, at your own pace, more and more inspiration shall fill with you your Life is Good, ethos.

My human, Gary, struggles with the balancing act of life. I know he is weary and his own life is on hold. Yet, his juggling skills have helped him continue and stay pawsitive.

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

Julie Cunningham said...

I'm soooo glad you felt like yourself today!!!! Wow- that is huge. I don't balance- I tend to stack things up like crazy until it all falls down around me, and then I pick it up and do it all again. It's like those spinning plates... anyhow, I think balance is an elusive and impossible concept. I'm just aiming for getting the most important things done (which has self-care at the top of the list) and giving myself the grace to ignore everything else. Or at least try to ignore.

D Biswas said...

I'm so glad you're getting back to good health.

With my own health issues and growing life problems, I've found it is easier if I relax, and have fewer expectations of myself.

Take care of you, Tina, you and your family are the most precious thing. The rest of it comes later.

Many hugs from across the seas!

LD Masterson said...

Well, I fall off the beam a lot.

Just keep your life on the low beam until the balance feels natural again. It'll come.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. I am glad I don't have taxes to do before April .. and I managed to get mine done end 2013/2014 ... thankfully.

Do what you can and don't take on more than you can chew - are you allowed to chew? There were a lot of can'ts in there ..

All I can say is good luck ... and I'd freak if I had your number of emails ... go Viking chick and enjoy the razzamatazz ... long may everyone keep helping you ..

Just breathe - I think that helps with balance ... cheers Hils

Claudia said...

i think there are times where we find it easier to balance things - in others for whatever reason it's more difficult - i try to focus on different things - put others on hold - cut back sleep - but it cannot be a long term solution...

Rachel said...

Well, first, I kept trying to load your post but large black blocks kept hiding half of every paragraph all the way to the comments. I'm sure it's an issue on my phone and not your blog, but I couldn't read it all so I am sorry.

Secondly, while I don't believe I've ever been as sick as you, I do understand what you're saying and where you're coming from. It's not a thing I'm willing to say in the comments nor do I want to make this about me. But I understand and if you need anyone to talk to or rant to or somebody to come up with the weirdest story ever to distract you, you know how to reach me.

Pam Margolis said...

the challenge aint the same without you. it's less...
wait for it