Tuesday, October 02, 2007


It has been over two months since my last Balance Check. That sounds like the start of a Catholic confession, doesn't it? "Bless me Father for I have sinned, it has been over two months since I blogged about balance, and these are my sins." Haha. Yes, a childhood of parochial school and attending twice-weekly mass doesn't fully leave a person, does it?!

Interestingly, in these past couple of months (particularly the last), balance has come so easily for me and I haven't felt any need or desire to sit down and critically assess the areas of balance and imbalance in my life. It dawned on me that this incredible harmony of late really has nothing to do with my concerted effort to strike balance in my life. I owe the incredible harmony in my life to autumn. This time of year always brings out the best in me and so effortlessly. After spending the past few weeks reflecting on autumn's true and consistent annual impact, I have come to realize that I am very cyclical, like the seasons. I have seasons in which I bear much fruit and seasons of stillness.

Attempting to strike balance in my life on all fronts all the time is impractical and really, undesirable. Life contains stretches (seasons) of rain and then stretches of sunshine. It just happens that, for me, my "sunshine" comes at the start of the rain. This doesn't mean that autumn is always carefree. Things still happen beyond my control. Last year in October, I discovered my mother had cancer. However, I manage everything more effectively during this time. I still feel emotionally responsive but never overwhelmed. My mind continues to be over-active but never to the point of troubling me or forcing me into false action. My desire to be loved and give love doesn't attach itself to an unnecessary urge for marriage, but finds its way into acts of kindness towards family, friends, and strangers. Things just seem to fall into place.

I'm still trying to come to a better understanding of the other three seasons and how I "am" during those times of the year. I think this is a really compelling insight into who I am as a person and what my cycles are. I love getting older and becoming more aware of myself and the world around me!

So, what has autumn brought me thus far? Last week I started volunteering as a reading mentor for underprivileged middle school kids at an all-scholarship experimental school. I read with them one-on-one two hours a week, once a week. I love it already. The kids are bright and appreciative. I feel as though I am another source of support in their life...someone eager to see them succeed. I love the thought of inciting passion about reading and literature, but am just happy to hear their sweet, shy voices. My boss called me last week and offered me a promotion, making me now a salaried employee (instead of a contractor) with health benefits and 4 weeks paid vacation a year! My job responsibilities change somewhat but I still have so much of the flexibility I currently have.

So, the major transitions forged and the perseverence of previous months have brought me here...to autumn. I feel incredibly at peace with myself and the world around me. And that makes me incredibly grateful.


j.elliot said...

First of all, very nice post. I think i've read it 3 times over.
Secondly, what I wouldn't do for a plate of High Pasta right now from Blue Moon (do you remember when it burnt down?). Yummy!
Thirdly, thanks for coming back again and again to comment on my site.


carra said...

Congratulations on your promotion B! And I admire you for doing those reading classes. You're wonderful...
It is strange how once we "tune" our mind good things start coming our way isn't it? Anyway I am very very proud of you!

Cavalock said...

Yah, I read it more than once too. Another inspiring entry. Thanks for a good read. ;)

b said...

j.e. ...thanks for the comment. It sounds like you are missing your old stomping grounds...I can't blame you! I did hit up Escape from New York Pizza a couple weekends ago, after your previous mention!

carra...aw, thank you. I am really enjoying the mentoring and often feel that it is benefitting me so much more than the kids!

cavalock...thanks, i'm happy that you find it inspiring!

Richard said...

Confession is meant to be self-reflection on how you have failed, either by carelessness or deliberateness, to live to your highest expectations. It is not, as some suggest, an exercise in self-devaluation. How can one correct ones' weaknesses, if one has not taken stock of them. I will hardly improve my test scores if I only focus on the answers I got right.

Nice to see you are volunteering. Sometimes we don't realize how much little actions from us can help others. Most often, the best gift we can give of ourselves is our time. I find too many people do not get enough real human contact time (my own kids included).

Self awareness is great, though I am not so sure about getting older.