It’s no mystical secret that life is a careful balancing act. Every single decent therapist I have ever spoken to has said within twenty minutes “Well, Kelly, it sounds like you need to find some balance and I can’t tell you how to do that.” Well, I am not forking out $125 an hour for you to ask me questions.
Balance. I have spent my entire adult life looking for it. Work and play time. Ambition and relaxation. Exercise and diet. Save money for your future but live in the moment.
I work really hard to keep balance in my life currently. Take care of everyone else and take care of me. It isn’t easy. I left the house this afternoon with the intention of staying gone for a few hours. I have never been away from Lucy for more than about 90 minutes but MQD and Emily were both home. She had a full belly. She had just had a nap. She would be fine and I needed to get out. Bad.
MQD is pretty good about not crying wolf. I wasn’t gone 45 minutes before he sent the first text “We have a very sad baby.” I was getting my nails done. Yup. I am that shallow. Once a month I take an hour for myself and that is what I choose to do. Judge me, if you like. It makes me feel pretty. I sent him one back “Bring her to me, I can’t leave just yet.” He got things calmed down on the homefront and ultimately I was even able to stop and get milk on the way home. That’s right. I went to the grocery store. Party on, Wayne.
I could have stayed out longer. But I wanted to be home. Walking through stores window shopping or sitting somewhere drinking a cup of coffee wishing I was at home would not make me happy. I took my perfectly manicured fingernails home and strapped on an apron. Emily and I sat on the floor in the kitchen and we grated six zucchinis while Lucy took out every single piece of tupperware we own. And I was happy.
After I whipped up some ridiculously good zucchini bread (slammed full of vegetables and almonds for protein power!) I sat back and thought “I’m not cooking another god damned thing today!”
For breakfast tomorrow my family will have delicious zucchini bread made with love and natural sweeteners. For dinner tonight? I taught Emily how to line up Scoops Tostitos chips and place a loving dollop of canned hot dog chili in each one. Then we put some cheese on those bad boys and slid them in the oven.
Because it is all about balance. Em had a fever this weekend and was under the weather. I told her she could have anything she wanted for lunch, anything at all. She picked salad. SALAD.
My girls will grow up loving vegetables. But some day, many years from now, I hope they will both stumble through a 24 hour grocery store after the bars close and grab some Tostito Scoops, a 79 cent can of chili made with godknowswhat and some cheese. Her friends will encourage her to just put them in the microwave (or cook them with their space-aged cell phones) and she’ll say “No way, man, my mom made these when we were kids and you have to take your time and line up the chips and cook them in the oven.”
If it sounds like I hope my kids grow up to occasionally stumble drunkenly through a grocery store and eat food that is one step above low level dog food, yes, I do. They will also probably buy their vegetables from the farmer’s market and recycle like their life depends on it. And that, friends, is Balance.