On any given Sunday morning you will find me chatting up beautiful aging ladies in a church hall over mediocre mugs of creamy coffee.
On any given Sunday night you will find me chatting up leathered aging bachelors in a dimly-lit bar over mediocre cocktails.
Just to clarify — in case either of my bosses read this — the mediocre beverages are only mediocre because I am the one responsible for making them, not because the establishments are lack luster. The recipes are great — I just suck at following instructions.
Now, I often get asked why I don’t just pick one or the other and stick with it — either really perfect my church game or my whiskey sours — but the truth is, I can’t do one without the other. Together, they keep me balanced.
Finding balance in my life is something I have struggled with for quite some time. I don’t know if I should blame this on the six-inch heels I like to wear so frequently or on my inability to do things half-way, but no matter the reason, I tend to wobble.
No, not just after the third glass of merlot, you smartass.
I have wobbled on my opinions, on my feelings, on my preferences, my priorities, my values, my nail colour — and until recently I never thought it mattered. I assumed I was destined to live in a teetering, tottering limbo all because I have so many things going on in my life that are completely disconnected from one another.
Like many people, to keep my life interesting I add in bits and pieces of everything I possibly can. Like, this one time, I added “reupholster vintage couch” to my to-do list when I didn’t even know how to sew a button back on to my pea coat. I eventually learned how to sew on the button (kind of), but I gave up on the couch after I nearly staple gunned my thumb to crushed pink velvet.
Anyway, that was just a cautionary tale.
I have learned — over years of running from one karate class to the next ballet class —that when things in life are disconnected, the bigger picture hangs crooked.
And, if there’s one thing I know about hanging crooked, it’s that it throws a girl off sometimes.
So magazines try to give us simple solutions. Did you know your iPhone comes with a level? It’s true! It’s right there with your compass. Also, yoga — balanced people do that stuff everywhere. Maybe schedule some playtime outside of work, something fun like pottery. Schedule some sexy time and some “me” time too. Add more to your plate — push some of your broccoli over to the pasta side so it looks like you ate equal amounts.
These things don’t work for me. They make me feel like I’m cheating on true love with a 22-year-old Spanish exchange student named Carlos. They make me feel like I’m making sacrifices in the name of something intangible. They make me feel like I’ve finally become mature enough to accept the term “compromise.”
I have not.
There will be no conscious give-and-take and no setting the alarm for five in the morning to enjoy a couple of pre-coffee sun salutations.
When we stop shifting sand from one pile to another and just accept that the desert is covered in the stuff, we allow ourselves to learn how to be fluid — and if you’ve ever tried to hold a standing bow pose for a full thirty seconds you know for a fact flexibility comes before any sort of balance.
In my life, I have come to realize successful balance occurs when two opposite ends meet and accept each other with an extraordinary amount of understanding and respect.
Jesus, meet Jim Beam.
— Andria is a twenty-something blogger living in Kamloops with her 100 pairs of heels and 200 paperback Penguin Classics.