I’ve been thinking a lot lately about balance. Balance in life, balance in love, balance on the scale. You don’t stop to think about it much, until something smacks you in the face, but everything, and everyone, around us is in a constant state of trying to find its equilibrium. And until it’s found, life seems off-kilter and unsettling at times.
I don’t remember much from high school physics, except for random words like torque and velocity (which is not the same as speed, see? I remembered, Mr. Taska!). But, I do remember Newton. I also remember my physics teacher saying “good enough for government work” on a daily basis, something I still say today.
The thing about Newton, though, is I don’t think he meant for his laws to apply just to physics. When that apple fell on his head, he was given the secret to life.
First law: An object tends to remain in its state of motion until an outside force acts on it.
Translation: If you want things to change, get off your butt and make it happen. Whether it be your weight, health, or other physical trait – stop complaining and do something about it. Miserable at your job? Start sending out those resumes. Relationship problems? Find some help.
We all have something we would like to change about ourselves or situation. Sure, it’s a heck of a lot easier to sit by and wait for someone or something else to come around and take care of it for us. But, is that likely to happen? Nope. An object, you, will remain in your state of miserableness until YOU do something about it.
Be your own outside force. Kick yourself out of your comfort zone. Put yourself out there. You’d be surprised what you will find once you put yourself in motion.
Second Law: Force = Mass x Acceleration
No, we don’t all have to be mathletes to grasp this one. This one is pretty simple, actually. Find your tribe.
These days, you can find groups and like-minded individuals at the click of a mouse. Pick your poison: book clubs, fan pages, support groups. Whatever your interest or concerns, you can find others who share your struggle. Find them. Converse with them. Realize you’re not ever alone. Family, friends, strangers you only know by screen name. Your tribe is waiting for you.
The stronger your tribe, the more force you will have.
Third Law: For every action, there’s an equal, but opposite reaction.
There’s a balance to everything, in other words. We see that everywhere, don’t we? It’s in nature when Spring brings the rebirth of everything lost in the Winter. It’s in our wedding vows: good times and bad, richer and poorer. It’s a part of our everyday life as we strive for the work/life balance.
Stay at work an extra hour – arrive late to the kid’s soccer game. Accept a promotion – work longer hours. Take a personal day from work when the kid is sick – maybe be on the butt end of all the “working mother” stereotypes. Firehouse days? Spouse not around? You pick up the slack on house, home, kids.
This one, in my opinion, is the hardest. Most days, the scales are not tipped in my favor. Laundry is piled up, the floors need scrubbing, the bathrooms are a warzone. The kids are fighting or whining or both. They need to be fed and bathed. They need to be dragged to whatever activity they just had to be a part of three weeks ago, but now lost its luster. The shopping list is growing longer. The bills are stacked on the counter. The Officer is MIA.
Where is the balance? Is your life balanced when there is no time for you? When everything you do is for the others around you? Yes, I signed up for this gig of parenting whole-heartedly. But, does that mean I give up myself?
And that’s when I remember rule number 1. My life has been unbalanced (making me and, therefore, those around me crabby lately) because I haven’t done anything to change it. It will stay in this crazy, run-yourself-ragged, always-aggravated pace until I act on it, change it up, find a new motion. Which moves me to law 2. Finding a tribe that supports my new motion.
This is my goal this summer: change my motion, build up my force.
I could blame life, circumstances, responsibilities, and even the Officer. But, at the end of the day, it’s on me. Always has been.
It’s time for me to reset the scales and find my new balance. What’s your balance? Are you ready to live by Newton’s Laws of Life, too?by