Story Instead of Balance

People, including myself, talk a lot about leading a balanced life. In general, people mean this to be healthy, like eating a balanced diet.

However, I started thinking about it, and I really DON’T like the image of myself teetering along a rooftop, or walking a tightrope. Nor to I like to think of myself carrying a heavy bag on each shoulder in an attempt to remain balanced.  And I am definitely NOT a scale.

Yes, it’s just a saying – but I believe the way we think about these things matters. If I keep visualizing myself barely staying on the tightrope, I’m going to be scared and stressed out, and that is definitely not healthy.

So how can I visualize my life and manage all of the different demands it brings me?

Story is one way, and it’s something I’m learning more about. What is my story right now, and what do I really want it to be? How do my job, child-rearing, housekeeping, marriage and writing all fit into my story?  And how am I part of the larger story of God and the universe?

Big questions.  And I’m starting to find answers. I’m cooking up something on the writing front, and have a long-term goal in mind. But I think finding my story is about more than just goal-setting. I mean, a story is supposed to have a plot, and a theme, and a conflict to overcome.  It’s not just a steady plod toward a goal.

The glimmerings are there, in my head. I just have to put it all together.

I had this post half-written when I found that Chris Brogan was asking people to post about the importance of story in their lives. And he’s offering free books, so I figured I’d better get it done!  This post was also partly inspired by Christina Katz’s piece on balance in her weekly e-zine, The Prosperous Writer. And further inspired by a retreat I attended with Narrative Actualization.