Friday, April 06, 2007

An Imbalanced Life

Two of my favorite bloggers, Dana and Believin, set me a challenge to discuss how I find balance. I might take that as how I find balance in my writing life, between paying assignments and fiction. I might take that as finding balance between work and motherhood… I might take that any number of ways, I suppose, but the truth is, across the board, I don’t. I am forever imbalanced.

I have friends that have described me as over analytical, and to some extent they’re right. I like to pick apart situations, literature, nuances of writing to find some kernel of uncharted territory or hidden meaning. I pick apart conversations and do much of the same; a good deal of my life is spent in my own head – only paying partial attention to the world around me as I wander through it. By the same token, I am the flighty nitwit who doesn’t look before she leaps. That’s me, the girl who gets in the car with no directions to a place she’s never been and assumes all roads will lead where she’s going. This drives people crazy. Personally, I kind of like the adventure and I really don’t mind being late or missing something entirely if I’ve been present in another experience.

Two ends of the spectrum, but both of them are very much me. Does this give me balance? Not in the least. I teeter, dance, run, and fall often. Occasionally I can do little but crawl through. All nighters to finish what I’m responsible for, lack of motivation on days that don’t have absolute deadlines…. In life, in writing, in everything. For me, balance is not a state I’m familiar with and I don’t quite know what I’d do with it if ever I should attain that perception. I twirl in the middle of the room, stagger, fall, slide, laugh, and fall on my ass quite often. So far I’ve always gotten back up.

Balance would be easier, maybe. Maybe those with balance don’t need to rush through some things and are more at peace… What I’m finding with all of the over analytical introspection is that it does not balance out the flakey, fly by the seat of my pants side of me…. Instead it only replaces the reality of life with a daydream of what life might mean or could be… Possibly every writer out there does this to some extent, daydreams scenarios while they should be living in them… I think I prefer to teeter and dance, stumble and fall, and laugh a whole lot. But, balance? Well, perhaps I’m just not that graceful on my journey………..


Lillie Ammann said...

Thanks for participating in the meme. I think we all stagger and fall, but what's important is picking ourselves up and going forward.

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Lillie,

Thanks for reading and commenting - and I agree, actually I think falling teaches you a lot more than easy success... but then, success is rarely easy.

Nice to meet you, by the way, and a very happy Easter to you.

Dana Prince said...

I LOVE your response to this meme.
I think a lot of my responses had to do with the timing of my answer. I wish I'd been having a day more like you had when you wrote this. Sounds like you have a real grasp on what's important to you and on what needs to be taken seriously and what doesn't.
I applaud your approach to balance--or to imbalance, depending on what way it's looked at.
Cheers & Hugs,

spinayarn said...

Nice post, Merry

Balance is so easy to loose and so difficult to maintain. You seem to be doing a pretty good job in such a hectic world.

suejeff said...

Merryone, I like your imbalance it sounds so much like mine, living in your own head as you stumble through the world. I suppose it's why I'm a great believer in picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and starting all over again.


hifidel said...

That's a great post on (im)balance, Merry. What a great way to look at life. If it doesn't keep you balanced, I bet it keeps you happy. And that is more important, isn't it?

Merry Jelinek said...

Wow, look at all of these replies!!! I think these are the first comments on this blog - but then, I hadn't been keeping up on this one the way I usually do at writingup... Thanks for stopping, Dana, Sue, hifidelity,and spinayarn!!!

Balance is a state of mind... and I don't know that imbalance makes you happy, maybe I'm just lazy ;-)


Sun Singer said...

Nice post, Merry. In fact, it sounds like somebody familiar: oh yeah, this is how I am about stuff. One minute it's leap-of-faith intuition, the next it's cold-steel logic.

Best of luck with your blog.


Anklebuster said...

Hi Merry!

This took longer than necessary. I am a WordPress blogger. I forgot I had switched to the gmail version. Plus, I can't log in with Firefox...So anyway, happy, happy, from IE6.0!

A balanced life is only achievable when you're reciting the alphabet backwards, on one foot, with your finger on your the middle of the highway, at 3 a.m., while the kind ossifer holds your bottle.
At this very moment, you KNOW you gotta ace this, or the kids will NOT be getting to soccer practice on time later today.



Merry Jelinek said...

Well, hello there sunsinger - it must be the creative state of mind... imbalanced

And Mitch, two comments in one day - it's so great to see you too... tip from the tv show Picket Fences - skip the whole field sobriety test and just get out of the car, lock the keys inside, and chug the bottle right in front of the officers - they can't make a dui stick because they can't prove the reading was from prior to that drink...

Then again, that won't help with the kids soccer practice... sigh... there must be better ways to balance.


WordVixen said...

"a good deal of my life is spent in my own head – only paying partial attention to the world around me as I wander through it. "

I love it, that's exactly how I've spent most of my life.

I'm loving your blog over here, Merry. It's like you (from WU), only more so. Consider yourself blogrolled!

Merry Jelinek said...

Well, hello there, wordvixen - I'm thrilled - I think this one will be really good, once I get the hang of all the bells and whistles I'd like to spruce the place up a bit.

And I really do spend far too much time in my own head - I like the fly by the seat of my pants side of me that lives in the moment, but I've always had little scenarios playing in the corner of my mind - regardless of what's going on in the real world. I couldn't even tell you how I manage this, because for the most part, I don't miss what's going on around me either - maybe it's just not compelling enough for full interest.

I'm switching gears this spring... I like the freelancing, as it pays right away, but I've decided to go fully on fiction without any distractions and put the freelance aside until I've gotten some momentum there - look for topics along those lines here. Now I'm off to check out your blogs.


Sun Singer said...

Thanks for adding me to your blogroll. I just put Mom and More on my Sun Singer's Travels blogroll. That will bring you 10000000000 hits per day. :-)

Merry Jelinek said...

Thanks for adding me to yours, too, Malcolm. I can feel the hits rolling in already ;-)

By the way, Mists discussion will start on Tuesday, if everyone's game - I'll leave a link up on the original post at merryone, too.