I hate the word balance—at least the way our modern culture defines it.

For most of my adult life, all I’ve heard (or read) is about how to balance work and family life or finding balance when life seems to get out of control.  It’s as if balance is this magical word that creates a utopian mindset—one that, I’ve come to realize, doesn’t exist.

The truth is balance—or harmony, homeostasis, whatever you want to define it—is just a fancy way of deluding ourselves that the myth “You can have it all” is actually achievable.  Balance implies that something in our lives is already off-kilter; otherwise, we wouldn’t need those self-help articles offering tips on how we can come back to a place of peace in our daily living.  Why don’t we start looking for ways to declutter our minds and our homes instead of chasing that ever-elusive and abstract concept of balance?

Before I had children, my life was neat and tidy, fitting well into the little box I set aside for it.  It was full of fulfilled expectations and realized dreams.  But, of course, once my husband and I welcomed our girls into our organized and well-kept life, everything changed.

I no longer knew what balance meant anymore.

In fact, I tried—oh, I desperately tried—to stuff the messes and chaos back into my safe and familiar proverbial box, but nothing fit anymore.  All order became upheaval, and I knew it was a fruitless attempt to force something I wanted into what no longer worked.  In other words, balance became no sleep, eating at odd times (and often eating strange foods), no free time, and constantly cleaning up messes.

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Text and Image Copyright 2016 Jeannie Ewing, all rights reserved.  (Image created using Canva.com.)