Friday, September 30, 2011

Balancing Act

My secret to happiness lies in the balance of the good and bad things in my life. I write to demonstrate some of the wondrous things that we experience with Maggie. It is a positive view of a life filled with joy and love.  Obviously there are very difficult things that happen everyday and, while I don’t want to dwell on them, I write about those too.  The challenges Maggie faces and how we handle those is the interesting part of our lives. While they do not define us, the challenges certainly shape us. Neither the joy nor the problems are interesting on their own. It is finding the joy in the mist of those difficulties that makes our life interesting.

We find our balance, but it is not easy. We walk a tight rope every single day. There is no net, but we are high up on that rope inching forward all the time. We get to the other side, turn around and come back again. We are not doing it to impress anyone; it is not for show. It is just our life.  Most people don’t even know we are up there because they are busy with their own lives on the ground where maintaining balance is a little easier.    

We can stay on that tightrope only with the balance.  It is a delicate matter of finding joy in the dark, of grabbing those couple of great minutes after hours of dealing with a problem. Perhaps I can appreciate those wonderful few minutes only because of the hard hours that preceded them.  The lows are low and the highs are high, we need both to maintain balance.  I do not expect anyone to completely understand that, but I certainly appreciate it when people respect it, which almost everyone does.

Yesterday I encountered someone whose philosophy does not acknowledge the tightrope or the balance.  She “teaches happiness” and says we can all be happy by simply deciding to be and if we all made that decision problems would disappear, there would be no sadness in the world and the roads would be paved with lollipops.  That is simply not true. I make the best of my situation every single day. I have a positive attitude and consider myself a very happy person, but I cannot make Maggie’s problems go away. That makes me sad and the sadness is valid.  It is not that I am happy DESPITE the sadness, I think I am happy in part BECAUSE OF the sadness. I am proud of that.  I was deeply offended by her simplistic outlook, which ignored the proudest parts of our lives and the hard work we do.

 She knew I was not buying in to her philosophy and wanted to know why. As I tried to express my concerns and frustrations my voice cracked.  That surprised me. It hit me much harder than I realized. I knew then I was going to lose it and I just got out of there. I’m generally the first one to stand and fight, but It was “fight or flight” and I flew.  

 It’s back to the tightrope for me. There is a possibility that a person who leaves a "Happiness Class" in tears may be slightly out of balance. Or maybe I was providing the balance.  Who knows?

 I would take a bow, but I might fall over. 


  1. Bravo. Well expressed, well lived. You have absolutely nothing to apologise for.

  2. Bravo. Well lived, well said. You have nothing to apologise for.

  3. Beautiful post. I hate to say it, but the woman you spoke with is not bright.

    Don't lose your balance, but look over there -- that's me on the same tightrope. I think we're doing a mighty fine job and look good doing it, too.


  4. oh dear . . . thank you, Sally, for your thoughtful and moving post. I often find the "Happiness People"---for lack of better description--- burn so much energy fearing the sadness, struggling to hold it at bay. Their prerogative, certainly. I'm with you, dear Sally. I find joy in the texture of life, in the tenuousness of the tightrope.
    sending you love, and a tissue to wipe cleansing tears xoxo dafna

  5. Your heartfelt words speak volumes and leave me speechless, dear friend!


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