Do you hate the phrase ‘life balance’ as much as I do?

life balance, which side is up?

I have this love-hate relationship with the word ‘balance’. At times it feels like a knight in shining armour that has come to rescue me from the distress of my muddled existence. At other times, though, it’s more like a white-haired adjudicator come to judge my feeble attempts at keeping all my plates a-spinning. He also marks me out of ten for my smile.

Bah! Who needs balance, I say. Why not let each day’s hiccups and crises absorb all my attention? After all, we’re supposed to take one day at a time, right? So, my son leaves his packed-lunch at home – oh crisis! Now I have to drive to school (too far to walk you understand), and deliver it, preferably in time for him to actually eat it. That’s the morning gone then! The dog’s beginning her summer moult and I can hardly work out where she begins and the lounge carpet ends. I’ll have to do something with that before we all curl up and die of allergy overload or asphyxiation. Oh, but then there’s the kitchen floor! My youngest son asked – yes, asked – if he could do the dishes last night. Under careful supervision he tipped cups full of water onto the draining board, inadvertently washed the inside of the kitchen cupboard, and sluiced the floor with sparkling diamanté soap suds. He had a great time! True enough, I dealt with the immediate flooding straightaway, but I’d better check that the kick-boards are not going mouldy, and that the dog can retrieve her bowl from said tsunami. NB: My son also said he wants to cook tea tonight!

What does ‘life balance’ look like?

Well, you see, all this, and I’m no nearer to knowing what a balanced day, let alone a balanced life should look like. After all, my book needs marketing, my mum needs ringing; emails need answering, milk needs buying; business plans need writing, more books need reading. Oh, and then I’m back to packed lunches and tea ‘cos the boys need feeding. Balance? Where? How?

Every now and then I screech or stumble to a halt. Momentarily my head pops up above the parapet and I see, in the distance, a knight riding by.  His banner, trailing in the wind, reads ‘Balance’. Oh, bother! This time I think he saw me, and shot me an arrow with a message attached. It said “Watch this”. So I did.

I was blown away!

The whole structure that this woman was able to construct so carefully, almost tenderly, was held in balance by a single white feather. I found her performance spell-binding and deeply moving. It set me thinking. I may not be able to re-organise the whole of my life just now to make it perform like a perfectly balanced wheel. My journey may still be a bit lumpy and bumpy. But I can find a feather. Just one small thing that will help restore some balance in my life.

Yesterday I went swimming for the first time in almost twenty years. I loved it!

Go and find your feather this week. One small thing that can balance out your life a little. Share it in the comment box so I can cheer you on, and we can celebrate together!

What will it be?


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  1. Adrienne
    4 years ago

    Hey Jackie,

    Actually, I think you’re doing a dang good job girl with everything you have going on in your life. I mean the house, the kids, the dog, dinner, lunch, exercise, reading, writing, my goodness. You’re balancing everything all at once so my hat is off to you.

    I’m glad that video gave you inspiration for this post. I thought the same thing, wow, how she’s able to do that. We can all learn a thing from her. Just slow down and let’s take it all in.

    Thanks Jackie!


  2. Jackie Charley
    4 years ago

    Thanks for your encouraging comments, Adrienne. I think I will re-visit this post periodically so I can just check my balance-ometer!

    What do you do to help keep your balance?

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