Achieving Balance Is Like Eating Cake

English: A layered pound cake, with alternatin...

Have you seen those balance boards at the gym? The things you stand on to work the little muscles in your legs that hold you upright? I’ve been on a balance board for the past few months. Every time I get just about totally upright, I tip over to one side and have to use a bunch of muscles to try and get myself vertical again. It got me thinking about this balance topic I write about so often. Since October, my family and I have been trying valiantly to re-achieve the balance most of us had found in our lives. The ability to live day to day according to a rhythm, a pattern.

Each week I have a couple of good days, and a couple of un-good days. I just can’t seem to find my set point anymore. And then it dawned on me all of a sudden last night: I need to find a new set point. And stop feeling bad about my losing my balance. And then I started thinking about layers…and cake.

If you can only achieve the first layer of balance on a particularly bad day, that’s a win. And I’m talking basic stuff here. Get out of bed, get showered, get dressed. If the next day, you feel like you can take it to the next layer, you can go to work and maybe go on a walk to clear your mind, another win. Basically, you can be winning at this balance game on any particular day, because balance is all relative. And it used to be all or nothing for me. I’ve either achieved my ideal daily balance or I haven’t. But sometimes, that’s just plain old impossible.

Now, to incorporate the cake part of this analogy. The all-or-nothing mentality really trips up a lot of people, in all kinds of different ways. But particularly with this balance concept. If you’ve achieved your first layer, that’s still delicious, the same way eating just one layer of a seven-layer cake is still delicious. If some days you are able physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, to achieve all seven layers of balance in your life cake, that is one tremendous day. Bravo.

All layers of balance are good, all layers of balance mean you’re still trying, and all layers of balance lead ultimately to the next layers.

Especially during the stressful holidays, but even on regular days when the hustle and bustle can overwhelm even the most unflappable of people, let’s be kind to ourselves. Whatever balance we manage to achieve is like a small slice of cake in our days. The more cake we can manage, the better. But a little compassion for ourselves can go a long way.

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