I met the gaze of the neurologist.
After a series of physical examinations and a review of my recent MRI results he was ready to deliver his opinion. Brain scans had shown no tumors or critical issues. But, for three months now I’ve been dizzy. I’ve climbed onto my own personal merry-go-round and can’t seem to get off.
I was ready to hear my diagnosis. The neurologist had my full attention. I focused hard and begged the room to stop moving.
“Your balance is off,” he said.
Really? Tell me something I don’t already know. My life has been out of balance my entire life.
This time it is a diagnosis. I have developed chronic vertigo in my right ear. Nobody knows how long it will last. I may be “out of balance” for the rest of my life.
I’ve always disliked that term. Who has balance in their life? I can balance my checking account, but balance my life?
It’s the start of a new school year. A craziness all by itself. School supplies, mounds of paperwork, and dusting off that alarm clock. In addition, we’re attempting to balance an endless list. Financial concerns. A difficult marriage. Ailing parents. Health issues. Pregnancy. A child who is struggling. And seriously - I need the Brady Bunch to let Alice live at my house.
If you’re looking for balance today, you’re going to be disappointed. Because it’s not about balance.
It’s about priority.
Type A personalities like me make lists. We write down all our to-do’s in great anticipation of checking them off.
But in real life things happen that aren't on the list. That impression to call a friend who you haven’t heard from lately. Or to stop and help the elderly woman at the grocery store. What about the prompting to visit the sick? Or a thought to just sit patiently with a child who wants to tell you stories from their day. Stories that go on for longer than that to-do list …
Those impressions and detours are sure to knock you right off your perfectly balanced day. And they should.
Here’s a thought. Maybe life is supposed to be out of balance. A test to readjust and focus on what is more important today. This week. Even this year.
It is accepting an unbalanced life. And embracing a life of priority instead.
Last month I celebrated 56 years of a perfectly unbalanced life. Enough years of experience and a recent diagnosis to know that a little off balance is my new normal. Try writing a book … or two. It wasn’t on my list. But writing became a priority.
And I knew it.
And so, I’ll write. And I’ll hike up that mountain and have to watch my step. And I’ll be sure to strap on that helmet before I jump on my bike. I’ll love my husband. Treasure my children. Squeeze those grandkids. And serve others. All to the best of my perfectly unbalanced ability.
Where are yours? How do you find them? It is positioning your heart to know. Recognizing the messages.
So, when you see that bowling ball rolling down your lane headed for those perfectly placed pins in your life, remember you’re just like everyone else. Steady yourself. Embrace the unexpected. And let Him guide your next move.
Balance is overrated anyway.