I feel like the world is rushing by at a million miles per hour. I can’t focus on any one thing, no matter how important, I am not accomplishing anything. I am distracted by the next brightest, most shiny task. I am not eating the right foods or getting any exercise both of which amplify the other feelings.

This busyness feels like an illness though it isn’t treatable by medicine. Sometimes, my head swims, my heart races and my skin gets flushed.

Do you ever feel like this? I am sure you do. Everyone I know has these feelings periodically.

For me, when this happens, I am usually spending too much time focused on one area of my life. This could be a fun area like family and friends, or it can be a duty area like my job or volunteer obligations. Regardless of area, the solution for me is the same – I need to step back, reorganize assess priorities and often reinstate my boundaries. Even with myself.

In the past, I have called this ‘being out of balance’ because life is often compared to a big wheel. And when we get out of balance, the wheel starts to thump and bump and possibly even through us out of our seat. But, if we are always striving for balance, we are depriving ourselves of experiences. Balance, I am finding, isn’t possible.

Balance is defined by Webster’s dictionary as: “A state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance.” This, this version of balance can absolutely happen. Proper amounts.

However, the Wordnik.com definition of balance is more along the lines of how we have been taught to think of balance: “A state of equilibrium or parity characterized by cancellation of all forces by equal opposing forces.”

Equal opposing forces.

This is the kind of balance that is not possible. There will always be an area or two that require more attention than another. One are pulling us more tautly than the others. Maybe that is building a business or finding a new job. Possibly we are working on improving our finances or learning to change our eating and exercise habits. For many parents of school age children, getting the children out of summer mode and ready for school will be a focus during August and September.

The Webster’s version, focusing on the word proper rather than equal, is much closer to what we should be striving for. Keeping our activities in proper amounts with the proper amount of importance. Keep the rider in the cart even though the ride may be bumpy. Allowing ourselves the grace to shift priorities and schedules and life shifts. The world is fluid. We need to learn to go with the flow.

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