The other side of balance


I had my ladies over this past weekend; I'd like to have my ladies over every weekend, they're so fun and smart and grounding, not to mention they fawn over the dog and bring delicious treats. For me. Well, and the dog.

One of the very grounding things these ladies do is provide context: we've been meeting semi-regularly for five or so years now, and have known each other longer than that, so we all know quite a bit about each others' strengths and challenges and accomplishments and, while we speak of them kindly and with reverance, our inevitable abject failures. We're omelet-makers, are we, and that entails the breaking of many eggs, and the eating of many mistakes along the way.

The other grounding thing my group provides is this spectacular set of lenses and mirrors. The mirrors are kind of obvious, I guess, we all have people around us who reflect back to us our lunacy and brilliance, our predilections and finer affinities. These gals do that unstintingly, but kindly; they're like really clean, really fine-quality glass mirrors set in beautiful frames. They're not skinny mirrors but they're not fun-house mirrors, either. They simply reflect the truth, with gentle grace and beauty. Which is awesome, let me tell you: I lived a long time in the fun house, and that shit will mess you up.

The lenses are another thing altogether. We have significant areas of overlap, we're all women, we're all actors and artists, we're all very forthright, and enough differences to make life interesting and ourselves particularly useful to each other. The oldest of us is in her 50s, the youngest in her 30s, and the rest of us are born within 14 months of one another. We all make art, but of different types; we've all collaborated together on different things, design projects, theater projects, writing projects, video projects. We've got a mom, a seamstress, a graphic designer, a professional journalist, two speakers of French, an opera composer, a couple of singers, a drummer, two piano players, a guitarist (and a half), and FIVE, count 'em, FIVE kickass cooks between us.

We also have writers. We're all writers, of differing sorts of things: blogs, plays, columns, stories, poetry, songs, operas, essays, screenplays, articles and yes, journals. (Although interestingly, I don't think any of us are journaling at present.) And we've each been writing for differing amounts of time, but for a long time.

So when I threw out that the schedule and goals I'd set for myself in late December had me writing 3, 4, and sometimes 5 or 6 hours per day, on top of all the other crap I'm doing, I got a very interesting response.

"That's a lot. A real lot."

I'm paraphrasing, but you get the picture. I got the picture. Finally. Finally, it started to sink in that while all that writing is great, and while it's definitely something I love and want to be doing ALL the time, it's a lot, a real lot, on top of the consulting and speaking (and marketing of such) that I'm doing. And that's not even getting into the other things I'd been working on, like turning myself from a half-assed guitarist to a full-assed one, or getting in shape, or, you know, being a reasonably non-shitty girlfriend to one of the planet's finer human beings.

It hit me hard today, as a lot of things have been hitting me hard, since I don't have a lot of buffer lately. You can't be balanced without room to do it, ergo removing stuff from the total load is probably the first step towards balance. (Not to mention focus, but I don't even know what to do with that right now.)

There were two big messages the universe sent me via SXSW:

  1. If you put it out there, it will come back to you in ways you never dreamed of
  2. Without stamina, there ain't much you can do about #1

This is not me with a plan: this is me finally starting to get a clue that the plan has to be one that works in the third dimension. I don't know how yet, but I look forward to the universe throwing a few lesson plans my way very soon.

And by "universe" I mean "everything, including you." So fire at will, and make it the good stuff...


Image by TushyD via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.