Finding Balance in Life is as Easy as Finding the Fountain of Youth

Dear Reader:

The search for unicorns and balance in life, for me, are pretty much in the same category…impossible. Okay…perhaps that is a little harsh…let me re-frame that….as Captain Jack Sparrow would say  “Improbable…but not impossible.”

The more I think about it…balancing work, friends, family, and self-interests is impossible on a daily basis…particularly if we set our goals too lofty and play the game of checking off everything on our daily to-do list. That will cause any sane person to go CRAZY!

…But over time we can accomplish balance. This is the area where we really need to simplify our goals into chew-able bites. I think this quote comes closest to what I think is accomplish-able in the elusive hunt for balance in our lives.

“What’s my purpose in life? I just want to achieve something today and I want to enjoy something today. And if I do both of those things today, I’m going to have a pretty good day. And if I do both of those things every day, for the rest of my life… I’m going to have a pretty good life.” Jim Bird 

For me…writing the blog satisfies both these purposes….a sense of achievement and pure enjoyment. If I ever considered writing the daily blog a chore, believe me, I would have stopped writing a long time ago. But writing is my passion, my time-out allotment to travel inside my head and return with any and everything that flags me down saying “Me…write about me today.”

…And because I achieve a sense of purpose and pure enjoyment each day I have to admit that “I’m having a pretty good life.” I wouldn’t trade it for any other! We just have to own up to the fact that some days our “sea legs” work better at balancing than other days.

I had to smile and chuckle at Kaitlyn’s latest blog about finding balance in her life…the dilemma between enjoying life daily or saving and sacrificing now for a bigger enjoyment later. With her permission provided…let me share her (witty and self-deprecating humor that I find refreshingly adorable) blog post.

“What Are You Waiting For?”

Have you ever found yourself holding back? Waiting for that perfect time? Perfect person? Perfect place? Of course you have, who are you kidding. You’re human.

I don’t think this is limited to big feats or adventures (i.e. go on the trip, what you are waiting for!) Honestly, I will buy a cute new article of clothing, and NOT WEAR IT for weeks because I’m waiting for the “perfect” or “right” opportunity. What the hell is the “right moment” to wear a bell-sleeved floral blouse? The thing is, I realize my absurdity, but I do it anyways. Brains, am I right?

My analysis of this bizarre behavior keeps bringing me back to my inability to live in the moment. This is all the more frustrating because being present is part of the stuff I rattle off all the time as a yoga teacher – “live in the present”, “be here, in this moment”, “all you have is now”. What a hypocrite. Ok, I’m not totally a hypocrite because I am aware and understand the value of living presently, and sometimes I’m REALLY good at it – usually when I’m having a great time and I’m sans electronics. It truly is something I work at CONSTANTLY – but I’m human, which is why I struggle with the pull of past and future.

When I’m not living now, I base decisions in some life down the road that doesn’t and might not ever exist. I “save” my new outfit for some “perfect” evening that may never come, instead of just rocking that romper to the grocery (DO IT!). Instead of going out to dinner with friends and ENJOYING a life right now I stay in because I’m terrified every penny I spend is one I wont have for my future trip to Ireland (what I find myself counting down days for). There’s nothing wrong with being smart, and planning ahead, but not living your life based on the future is absolutely NUTZ.

I really hate to say this because he’ll read this and congratulate himself but I realized a bit of this last night talking to my husband. I told him I wanted to do more things and maybe get out of town for a weekend – to essentially shake up the routine. He responded that was fine, but I would have to quit turning people down when they asked us to do things in the future….WHAT?! HOW DARE YOU TELL ME I’M CONTRIBUTING TO MY OWN PROBLEM! Clearly dinner isn’t as exciting as a trip to Dingle, Ireland so I shouldn’t waste my money…save, save, save….wait wait wait. Lunacy.

My waiting around, and saving for something “better” basically has me missing out on the opportunities of now. I as much as the next person, love to have something to look forward to. It’s ok if you have your fancy outfit saved for a special occasion, and you’re looking forward to that great trip you have planned. The issue comes when you let future events (especially ones that don’t yet exist) get in the way of living your life right now.  So, what are you waiting for?

“Life happens when you’re busy making other plans” – John Lennon


So until tomorrow…

*I think we should all be perfectly “unbalanced” with more smiles to give away than frowns.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* Oops! I forgot another “pure enjoyment” in my life which also has a purpose and that is my garden and plants. Late yesterday evening…right before it got dark I took my trusty clippers out to cut down those sneaky vines that like to grow amid the flower beds and blooming plants.

I had made my way from the back to the front and was trimming the barrel contents (coleus, lantana, creeping jenny) in the front yard when a woman (and her adorable black and white checkered dog) stopped and called out to me.

I admire your barrel of flowers every morning and evening when I walk by. I have never been successful in knowing what to plant and how to keep plants alive…so I will just enjoy your “barrel of beauty” vicariously.”

Wow! I thanked her…took some more photos…because reality check…this is the first summer that I have planted something in the barrel that has survived the summer…five years I have been at it…and this time it “took.” Like my writings…I am just a “vessel” gardener who lets God take care of my plants. Great job this summer God!

*And now the icing on the cake…I walked around to the back yard to put up the gardening tools. When I got to the back deck I noticed the solar lights, throughout the garden, were starting to come on. It is my favorite time of the evening…when the magic rises from the moonlit garden.

As I crossed the deck to the bedroom I looked at the mason jar solar light flickering on and then saw what was blooming in front of it…the Devil Tumpet vine bloom!  It looked like God had just painted the whole scene! A breath-taking good-night God!







About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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6 Responses to Finding Balance in Life is as Easy as Finding the Fountain of Youth

  1. Jo Dufford says:

    Wow! Wow! What a great blog! Loved every word and picture. Your barrel is gorgeous.


  2. bcparkison says:

    Do we have to give that beautiful trumpet vine flower a bad name. I don’t even like to give ‘stuffed’ eggs his credit.
    The rest is just a lesson we all need to take in and work for more balance. I know I surely do.


  3. Legally Ohm says:

    Thanks for sharing boo!


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