A glimpse of balance

Categories: Hacking Life, The Juggle


We took care of my brother’s dog over the weekend, and Saturday night, after tucking the littlest two into their beds, I grabbed her leash to walk her once last time before I settled down to my freelance work.

It had been a hectic, crowded kind of day, and I’ll have to admit, bundling up and slogging outside in the rainy dark was very, very low on my list of “things I want to do now that the kids are asleep and I have a moment to myself.”

Hannah is a Carin Terrier — a tiny thing, compared to our massive Black Lab, who had already put himself to bed on the floor of our room. I snapped the leash onto her harness, opened the front door, and braced myself for a lashing of wind and rain.

Instead, it was gorgeous out.

The wind was high, whipping through the leafless trees. The grass was sopping from the downpour, but light was spilling out of the houses on our little street and the lawns seemed to sparkle. The sky was a solid mass of clouds, and they reflected the light from town with a dim, otherworldly glow. It was 66 degrees outside. In mid-November. In New England. At night.

I had spent the day cooking and baking and cleaning and doing laundry and running errands with a tired preschooler and a cranky toddler in tow. My to-do list had spilled over from the night before and was running multiple pages. There were six loads of clean clothes waiting to be folded and put away. I was missing the big kids terribly, and feeling resentful about things I could not control. But at that moment, standing in the warm night and listening to the wild wind, I felt like my life was perfect and I had found balance.

Has that every happened to you? You’re close to being overwhelmed by your work-life juggle, and suddenly your perspective changes — your focus shifts away from the things that are weighing on you and toward the things for which you are grateful. It’s not that the hard stuff stops mattering… it’s that the good stuff just seems more important. Or maybe that, for a few moments, the world seems bigger than your burdens.

What gives you a glimpse of balance?

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4 comments so far...

  • I love this! love love love - so often we get stuck focusing on what is NOT getting done and what is LEFT to do and what I sliding etc. But when you take 2 minutes to look around and truly appreciate what you see, what you HAVE accomplished and the future ahead of you - it can be breathtaking!!

    This morning for me it happened as I was sitting in stopped traffic. As I looked to my left there was an area in front of a building with about 15 mature tall trees surrounded by a carpet of well maintained lawn. With the morning sun peering through the naked branches onto the lawn that held onto the last few freshly fallen leaves - a squirrel was jumping around happily frolicking and hunting for nuts (I assume!) and I realized that even in traffic, there can be beauty and it made me smile and know that despite the news and the craziness of everyday life – things are good! We will adapt and grow and I AM happy! :)

    Thanks for reminding me!! :)

    Kate  |  November 17th, 2008 at 1:40 pm

  • Kate: What a wonderful thing to remember: “We will adapt and grow and I AM happy!” Thank YOU for that!

    Lylah  |  November 17th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

  • Geez - what sign are you?! LOL I had that same kind of experience a couple of evenings ago.

    I was outside bringing the recycling bin to the curb around 9:00pm. This is one of my kids’ chores, but I was doing it…. and not resenting it at all! :-) It was a beautiful night, warm with clear skies, and I just stopped and sat down on the porch, feeling extremely blessed for everything in my life. We’ve got a lot of stress going on in my household, and after that one minute of “taking a breath” I felt like I could handle just about anything….

    BlapherMJ  |  November 18th, 2008 at 9:59 am

  • A dog is a wonderful excuse to get out at night after the kids go to bed. I rarely feel like taking that walk, but I rarely regret it afterward. I get to clear my head, get some exercise and feel good that I gave the dog the exercise she needs and deserves.

    Sharon  |  November 18th, 2008 at 11:48 am