We’ve all heard these or something similar…
- “Get your ducks in a row.”
- “Get your shit together.”
- “Get your poop in a group.”
- “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”
- “All things in moderation.”
Put simply, they are all a way of saying to “get it together” and find balance in your life.
Balance – a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
Balance is my favorite word in the English language. If we can find it, we can live a meaningful and fulfilling life.
But why is it so hard to find, and even harder to maintain?
I can’t answer that. Can you? It’s something I have struggled with since as far back as I can remember.
I truly strive to go above and beyond in almost everything I do. My problem is that I get too focused on what is requiring the most attention at the time and fall behind on everything else, and my ducks start wandering off, get lost, and then there is a panic or pity party (sometimes both) generally leading to making things worse and creating more problems.
I know this about myself, I can see it; so why do I keep experiencing it in a continuous loop?
How can I fix this? Do I need to let a few ducks fly so I can focus more attention on the others? Can we truly “have it all”?
I don’t know. I think life is one big balancing act, and we spend most of our life trying to find our balance…and we lose our balance All. The. Time.
It seems to be very common for people to reach a certain age and realize they are not where they expected to be or wanted to be and maybe don’t even have some of their ducks in the pond yet. That is normal, and it’s totally okay. I say that, I know that to be true, but I still struggle with it. We all do. The answer is in having the attitude and willpower to look at things realistically. The grass may be greener on the other side, but it also may be fertilized with bullshit. You see what I am saying?
We have to learn to expect the unexpected; and for people like me, that really sucks. I like plans and details and structure. Although it is happening slowly, I am learning to take a step back and let some things go for the sake of my (and others) sanity, although it is an everyday struggle. Things gnaw at the back of my mind, and sometimes instead of facing them and correcting them I find something else to focus on, even if it’s not a good thing, and I know in the back of my mind I am only making things worse.
Taking Steps in the Right Direction
I have often shared how overwhelmed I feel and that I sometimes feel like I am drowning. I am happy to say that I feel like I do have my head above water now, even if I do go back under here and there and have to come back up gasping for air. In other words, I still often lose focus and colossally mess up. I am pretty sure it will always be that way, but maybe we can get the “colossally” part out of there.
I AM A WORK IN PROGRESS
I am my own worst critic. I am very good at owning up to things and accepting consequences for my actions and being honest. Those are attributes I take pride in. What I am not good at is accepting that I make mistakes and mess up. I suffer with guilt, which is probably my least favorite of the human emotions.
Guilt vs Remorse
Guilt and remorse are very different.
Guilt is geared toward self. Guilt is paralyzing. Guilt is heavy. Guilt is fuel for self-destruction. Guilt is necessary, but nowhere you should stay.
Remorse is awareness. Remorse is aimed at the action that took place, not self. Remorse is where we need to transition to from guilt. Remorse is fuel for constructive action.
While I am good at showing remorse on the outside, I keep guilt on the inside, and if that doesn’t change it will eat me alive.
I am not a bad person. I am a very empathetic person. I am human. I make mistakes. I own up to my actions the best I can. I am learning. I promise you that. Even if it takes making the same mistake one hundred times before I learn, I will get up, own my shit, make things right, learn, and Let. It. Go. Forgiving myself is the duck that needs to take some priority right now, but I will not let the other ducks run amuck.
Keep My Eye on the Prize
I’m forgiven. You’re forgiven. Now forgive yourself.