Every time I read Dr. Seuss's All the Places You'll Go to my kids, I get this sneaking suspicion that it's actually written for the parents. Particularly when you get to the part: “So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act."
Except I think Dr. Seuss got it wrong. I don't think it's a balancing act at all - because there's no possible way you could balance everything you need to balance without dropping something or falling down.
The way I see it, life is more like a crazy hard jigsaw puzzle. It has thousands and thousands of pieces in all sorts of shapes and colours, and the pieces are all different sizes.
But what makes it really challenging is that, on any given day, one of the pieces is suddenly way bigger than the others. And you have to take the whole thing apart and start all over again so you can find a way to make all of the other pieces fit around that one.
I work at a job that, while interesting and motivating, can be quite demanding at times. I have some great opportunities for professional success - but only if I work hard and show my commitment. My husband's been travelling for work more than usual. I commute two hours a day. My two young kids go to two different schools. There are activities and dentist appointments and school lunches and homework, sibling fights and illnesses and day-to-day chores. And so on, and so on....
Sometimes the "kid" piece of the puzzle is bigger - if they're sick or struggling with something.
Often, the "work" piece is bigger these days.
Rarely is the "friend" piece bigger.
And the spouse piece? Truthfully, most of the time, it's like that corner piece of sky or grass...you put it into place and then pretty much forget about it. And I know that's not a good thing.
I don't mean
to complain or to say my life is easier or harder than anyone else's.
It's just LIFE. But it bothers me that I turned 40 this year, and I
still haven't figured out how to put all of the pieces together properly.
And here's my secret worry. Sometimes I try to look past the pieces to see the overall picture I'm trying to create, and I wonder, "Is it the one I really want?"
I think I've discovered a new genre: "Kids' books as self help for adults". Although clearly, Dr. Seuss doesn't have the right answers for me. Maybe I'll give Robert Munsch a try.