Friday, April 08, 2005

A Question of Balance…

Musical Thoughts
If you said "hey that's the name of a Moody Blues album, you would be absolutely correct. Being the music afficionado that I am, I tend to allude to these musical references alot. I think that's because music truly comes from the heart, no matter what it sounds like. Someone might rap how they feel, another might use noises generated at random; then again, someone may go into a 20+ minute epic and break it down into several parts to weave it into a storyline. We all come from different walks of life, and certainly we all express ourselves a different way. Diversity is the spice of life.

A Balancing Act
You may wonder what this all has to do with what I am going to tackle next, but it does to some degree. If you want a simplified look at life in general, think of it this way; each part of your life is essentially a scale that we try to balance. OK, that's easy enough for one scale; now let's add another. Sure, two scales aren't that bad. When one becomes imbalanced, we can quickly add or subtract from either side and are able to reach the other if the need arises. Let's add another one: NOW it gets tricky. You start to find that the second you turn your back on one, it starts to lose its balance and becomes heavier on one side. You notice this, rush over to it, and do what it takes to correct it. Of course, as soon as you do this, either the first or second one(or both) is going to become out of balance, and then you start thinking "am I ever going to get all these to balance out?"

Answer: Of course not. We simply cannot get them all to balance perfectly at once. The minute we focus our attention elsewhere, something else falters. In our minds we know this, and the tension mounts. Sometimes we are totally aware of it; other times we have to be reminded by either a person, or an event that "puts us in check." The truth is, we have more than one, two, or three scales to balance in our lives. We have may have twenty, one hundred, one thousand, or possibly even more! You could also equate this to juggling as well. Drop the ball or ignore a scale, and you notice the effects sooner or later. Life is like this game, with the difficulty level getter progressively harder as you go along. If you can't keep up the frantic pace, you won't make the "top ten" list.

Let's face it; none of us is going to be able to balance all the scales, or to juggle all the balls, but we can sure as hell try. To be a consummate professional, a dedicated family man, an outstanding artist, and great tennis player at the same time would be, well, quite difficult if you looked at it from a perfectionist's standpoint. I think that sometimes the scales are going to tip one way or the other regarding certain aspects of life - there is simply no getting around that! The key is to decide which things are more important. Of course you know this already, but it's much harder than it sounds.

An Example
For instance, say that you are single and don't have a family that you need to take care of; your priorities are going to much different than that of the guy that is married and has 3.2 children running around in the yard. The single guy may put his entertainment needs first, whereas the married guy obviously puts his family first. His scales are very different and need much more "maintenance" than the other guy's. Ultimately, he will have to enlist the aid of sources outside himself (his wife, mother etc) to help him with his daily duties.

What Am I Getting At?
You're probably wondering where this is all going, but it all boils down to this: we are all only human; we can only do so much at one time within our lives. We tend to forget this very quickly and tend to attempt "superhuman" feats (i.e trying to balance all the scales at once.) Sure, it's great to have a challenge, but sometimes we challenge ourselves a bit too much. Sometimes it's outside forces that are causing this.

My View of Corporate Society
As corporations grow and mold themselves, they seem to have a nasty habit; they tend to "trim the fat." In a nutshell, this means that you will be understaffed and be expected to do the same amount of work minus the former employees. In spite of the fact that profits are "better than ever," the organization will refuse to bring on more staff, as it will quickly cite that this will "cut into our profit margin." Correct me if I'm wrong, but in order to get something, you do have to give at least a little in the beginning. I think that these younger generations of corporate types have forgotten this. They seem to want to reap the reward without giving ANYTHING and they want it NOW! As far as I'm concerned, you can wait just like everyone else! (OK. Rant over.) *phew*

In Conclusion
Remember that we are only human! We can only stretch ourselves so far before we reach the interminable end. OK, maybe not the end of our lives, but I can tell you, it feels that way. If you've never been there, I can assure you that it's definitely not the place to be. Just remember, that if you get to that point, there are many avenues that you can take- individual and group therapy, psychiatrists, and medication are just a few. Also remember to reach out to the people closest to you (family, friends, dog, cat, etc.) If you communicate with them, be sincere, and in turn listen to what they have to say, you will probably have a good support system at hand. NO ONE needs to be Superman; No one can, and no one ever will be. Just be yourself.

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