Balancing Act

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I’ve mentioned before that I work out in the fitness center at work.  Because I have no idea what I’m doing, I work with personal trainers and let them decide how to best work on the various parts of my body.  The two have different styles and tend to do different things but, last week, both of them tossed a balance thing at me.  The guy on Tuesday had me stand on one leg with a medicine ball over my head and then slam it to the ground on one side.  The lady on Friday did a variation of that theme having me stand on one leg while she tossed a ball at me.  It is one thing to maintain your balance just standing there but the movement forces you to keep the core locked (as much as possible) while adjusting other places to keep balance.  Let’s just say we have some work to do in that area.

(As an aside, I had to look it up to make sure they are still called medicine balls.  I thought that was some big brown leather thing that was used years ago and cast aside as exercise science advanced.  Nope, they are still a thing but just not what they used to be)

I suspect some of you think I read way too much into life’s random events and perhaps I do.  Some of it is probably just the way my mind is wired where I’m just naturally trying to connect dots.  Maybe it is just random but if I can get a lesson out of random events, who’s to say that there wasn’t some power behind them.  Maybe they weren’t so random as they appear.  Or maybe I’m just a little “out there” at times.

Still, having two people focus on balance kind of got me to thinking about how much things have been out of balance in my life.  In some ways, those exercises seemed like a good metaphor.  Standing on one leg, you kind of find some equilibrium that allows you to find balance and then the ball coming at you is some kind of life event that knocks you off and you have to adjust and struggle to find a new equilibrium.  I don’t know what the equivalent of having to touch the other leg down – this is what happens when you try and grab for a metaphor without thinking it through.  I guess to say that you can eventually achieve balance again although it is unlikely to be in the same place you were before.  Oh, and if you are getting a lot of things tossed at you at once, it is next to impossible to really find an equilibrium.

So The Girl with the Tree Tattoo put out a call to other members of the ballroom village and, to be honest, I no longer feel like a member and just barely like a ballroom blogger anymore.  I’m into the second week of my ballroom vacation since it isn’t clear when the studio will reopen and I’m torn.  I certainly miss dancing.  I hear certain songs and I just want to dance and get that feeling back.

But I’m reminded of a line from “Shall we Dance” that “Ballroom is all or nothing” and I read the other bloggers who are having a great deal of success in their dancing and it certainly seems to be the case.  The problem is that as I’ve taken a step back from being in the studio four nights out of five, I’ve found that I like having the free time.  It wasn’t exactly this way but it felt like a lot of days were work and dance leaving little time in between for anything else.  That wasn’t balance and it created some stress that maybe I wasn’t really aware of until it was removed.  Even if I had a super talented instructor, I’m not really sure I want to go back to that world.  And I don’t want to put that pressure on myself – I know I can’t really deal with it that well.  Yet, I still want to dance.  And I do want to do another Showcase.  How to balance dance with the rest of life so I still feel progress but not that ballroom has swallowed me because it is certainly capable of doing that.

Work continues to be totally out of balance.  My boss of many years left on Friday (they stretched out her retirement as long as possible).  My new boss is across the sea and we are still in that “who are you” phase.  Also, I got news on Friday that someone I’m pretty close to is retiring in August.  This is the second one since another friend retired in May.  I knew these were coming but it changes the dynamic at work quite a bit as these were the two people I could really talk to.

The problem with work relationships is that you kind of have to be on edge for the longest time.  The work world is unfortunately full of people who claim they want to be your friend but will walk over you to get ahead so you can’t fully trust them.  As a boss, I’m friendly with my team but there are times when I know things that I can’t tell them and that creates a distance whether you want there to be one or not.  At least for me, until you know you can fully trust someone, I’m always thinking about what to say and limiting my responses to work appropriate things.  That’s what makes it great when you find people you can really trust.  These were the only two people I’d really talk about current events with and we didn’t always agree but even the arguments were fun because we didn’t have to worry about accidentally offending someone and having an HR issue.  Or, telling somebody something they would later use against you.  Now, they will be gone and it will just be me and there will need to be a new balance established.

The other problem with work is that by getting rid of my boss, they’ve removed a layer.  I told you it feels like I got sucked up in a vacuum where it feels like people expect more event though nothing really changed.  There is a trade off between work and life when you move up the corporate ladder – don’t let anyone tell you different.  And, the higher you go, the more the corporation expects that work will take priority over life.  They might give happy talk about work/life balance but it doesn’t often exist.  Already, I’ve got more meetings on my calendar and there is nothing more soul killing than a useless meeting.  Plus, there are the offsite meetings where “leaders” are supposed to meet and plan and strategize for the future and talk about other important things.  I’m pretty sure if Dante were writing today, those meetings would be one of the levels of hell.

And, this creates additional imbalance because “I have a dance thing” isn’t really going to be a good enough excuse to get out of some super important work thing that really isn’t all that important.  Right now, I think one of those multi day meetings is scheduled right about the time of a Showcase I wanted to attend in September so that might not work out.  I took myself off the corporate ladder years ago because I didn’t want to give up any more of my personal time.  My boss asked about putting me as her successor and I said no because I saw how much she had to travel.  So now I kind of feel like they put me in a position I didn’t really want without asking me.

Anyway, I didn’t mean to turn this into a bunch of complaints.  It just feels like I’ve spent the last several months standing on one leg dodging balls being thrown at me and trying to stay balanced.  Still looking for that equilibrium.




One comment

  1. If you’re overthinking, then so am I. I think that was a brilliant insight, and a sign of somebody who can dig really deep for the truth behind the masks we wear.

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