Broken Things and Updates

I broke my website recently. I’m not going to get into the idiotic (I am an idiot) details, but I accidentally executed a broken blog perfectly. It was the internet equivalent of a PERFECT triple back flip into a cactus garden. Actually, it was probably an accidental backflip off a trampoline into a cactus garden but now we’ve gone to a weird place and I need to stop with the analogies and bad imagery.

All that aside, I really didn’t notice that I broke my blog because I hadn’t really done much with it the past few weeks. So I’m an idiot who doesn’t even know she’s an idiot. Or something.

Wait. I think most idiots probably don’t know they’re idiots.

::sigh::

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed (and maybe ever-so-slightly broken) right now myself. I hate when summer is over. Even though summer is so damn hard. I always hate when the girls go back to school and I feel like I have nothing to show for it. (I know that I do. A little bit. But it feels like I don’t.) I miss those girls of mine. I have guilt and regret for all that we didn’t get to do.

This was the last summer before senior year and all things college.

***

I didn’t cry on the first day of school. Either day. I’m pretty sure you all were expecting that I would. There’s so much going on in the world lately, especially last week, I think I was a little numb. But I’ve got a 7th grader and a senior in high school and I couldn’t be more proud. Or more excited for the both of them.

I freaking love these girls
I freaking love these girls

Ramona started school a few weeks ago. She loves her teachers. (I love her teachers!) We’ve had a pretty good transition back into a homework routine. Not perfect, but really good. She LOVES her Language Arts teacher. His master’s thesis was on Mine Craft so I feel like he teaches on their level somehow. At any rate, my cute Ramona has never been this excited about reading and Language Arts anything. She (secretly) stayed up to late reading last night. I know! She also worked super hard and made it on the school volleyball team. I’m beaming. Annoyingly beaming!

Beezus started her senior year excited about getting all the teachers she really wanted. With a jam-packed, kinda hard, class schedule, I was so happy that getting the exact teachers she wanted could be such a fabulous bonus. She decided to take this year off water polo so she can focus on schoolwork and competitive softball, which is so good for her. She was one of the Senior Mentors for incoming freshman and she was pretty freaking adorable about it.

Even if I’m sad for summer to be over, I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year.

***

Did I tell you my sister and her family moved back to California? Nevada, Montana and Utah had possession of them for far too long. The moved back to where they belong a few months ago and it’s been pretty rad. For all of us. The five of us (and my parents) have never lived so close in proximity (as adults) before this past year. I always love getting together with my family, but holy crap it’s nice to have everyone around. We are so loud, we scare people away but we’re so freaking funny and awesome the people we scare away come back for more. But I have to tell you…having more moments with these weirdos makes life rad.

Yes, that's a banana in my shirt. Thanks, Jaye.
Yes, that’s a banana in my shirt. Thanks, Jaye.

***

I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. I still feel like there is too much on my plate, but at least I can carry it without falling in a black hold of yuck. Although, being on the other side of things, I can see how much I forgot about or had to put off while so very buried. (*cough* Broken blog *cough*) Wading through those (forgotten/ignored) tasks is pretty overwhelming, but I’m getting there. I mean, there are actually days when I can breathe normally. Progress! But yeah…if it takes me a long time to get back to you (or if I have forgotten to get back to you at all) I’m really and truly sorry. I’d offer to bake you something as a peace offering, but 1) I don’t have time for that and 2) At this point in time, I’m so distracted it would probably taste terrible. But I still love you. I promise. No really. I’m hugging you from here.

harmony -vs- balance…and why harmony is the winner

be who you are

Can we just get rid of the word balance? I know I’ve spent too many years trying to find balance. The internet is excellent at making us believe that we can, so we do. The internet is also good at making us feel like shit when we can’t actually find that balance we worked so hard to find. It’s so easy! Put down your phone…get off the internet…say no more…make your own cheese! So much information constantly being thrown at us, proving that we’re doing it all wrong.

I’m pretty sick of it.

The idea of balance is so enticing. The notion that we can have it all and that we can look fit and fashionable while doing it. But it’s a pile of crap that is disguised as kale and elaborate playdates and bikini-ready bodies. It’s the instruction that if we JUST! TRY! HARDER! it will all fall into place. Our life, I mean. We’ll be the shining examples of doing it right and having it all! So we can then, of course, post it on Facebook or Pinterest the hell out of it.

No really, I’m pretty sick of it.

Would it be so bad if we all just admitted how hard life is?

The reality of balance is this: if you are putting your focus on one specific thing, you are not putting your focus on every other thing. It is impossible to focus on all the things at all the time. And I don’t believe you if you say that you spend equal amounts of time on all the things. I call bullshit. And I call it OUT LOUD.

In my efforts to find the ever elusive balance, I have somehow created a war. Mostly with myself, but a war has broken out. I’m angry when I can’t be fair with my time. I’m frustrated when I can’t get it all done. I’m furious when my plans are fall apart. I feel shamed when I fail at everything. Because didn’t the internet tell me I could have it all? Am I terrible? What is wrong with me? Where is all the balance?

Have I mentioned I’m sick of it?

I’ve become so frustrated with all that I have to do and all that I have to focus on, I’ve become bitter and resentful. I’m just so mad at myself that I can’t keep it together.

And then I read a book (a completely un-related, a little bit dumb book) that talked about harmony. It wasn’t anything earth-shattering. It was just talking about the Native American views on harmony and it was almost like I was smacked upside the head with this book. (I do realize that the link mentions harmony AND balance. But I’m pretty sure the Native American version of balance isn’t creating a Pinterest worthy DIY project while doing a million hours of planking at the same time. Maybe.) It’s not balance that I’m missing. It’s developing a harmonious place where all the areas of my life can coexist. Although, I kinda want to punch myself in the face after writing a sentence like that. (I’m so sorry.)

harmony

My point of all this rambling is that I’ve created this completely un-balanced environment while I search for the thing that will make or help me live a balanced life. What I’ve done is cause all the areas of my life to be at war with one another because I can’t seem to remember that I’m only one person. And that maybe if I sought out harmony instead of balance, I might actually get somewhere. Because, can’t we all get just along? If I can figure out a way to not be angry or frustrated at all the parts of my life that are demanding my attention, I might be able to see that all parts can work together and more can actually get done. Okay, probably not…but I’ll be able to remember that each part of my life needs my attention at different times. And I hope that I can stop feeling bad about everything I’m NOT doing when I’m in a car for long periods of time…or at work far more than I want to be…or folding laundry for hours on end. Finding harmony and giving a space for everyone and everything to play a little nicer sounds a lot better than feeling constantly guilty for never obtaining a balanced life. You know, the one that doesn’t actually exist.

I’ll probably never be able to fully give up my quest for balance. Pinterest ruins you like that. But at least I can try put my focus on a lot more harmony, and the fact that I’m only one person, and a lot less on the ab workouts and the latest quinoa recipe.

I wasn’t going to do that ab workout anyway.

photo credits here and here