Wednesday, January 22

Giving up on balance

In contemplating what word I'd like to be my "word of the year," I realize that there's a word I need to lose even more than a word I need to gain.  

Surprisingly, the word I need to get rid of is one that I've already seen many people embrace as their word for the year.  It's a word that gets bandied about as an ideal, and it's one that I myself have tried to attain.  Honestly, it sounds like a great idea.

My UNword?  Balance.

Now why would I want to get rid of such a nice idea?  Isn't it the key to success, the secret to a happy life? Shouldn't I be striving for more of it??

No.  I don't think so.

Because real life isn't balanced.  Day to day, week to week, season to season--sometimes we're relaxed; other times we're rushed.  Sometimes we're snowed under with work; other times we have an excess of leisure.  Sometimes we have good amounts of work time and rest time; other times it's all we can do to snatch a moment of respite.

Honestly, striving for balance sounds more like walking a tightrope or working with a chemical equation than living a real life.  Who wants life to be like that?

So instead of balance this year, I'm going for another word: rhythm.

God created the world with natural rhythms--the rising and setting of the sun, the ebb and flow of the tides, the passage of the seasons.  Our bodies have natural rhythms, too--the beat of our hearts, the pulse of our blood flowing through our veins, the rise and fall of our breaths.

Instead of a delicate balancing act or a difficult chemical equation, the idea of rhythm brings to my mind thoughts of music. Sometimes we waltz through our days with ease.  Sometimes we must put on our boots and march.  Sometimes we sing the blues.  But whatever the background music, we make it through if we learn to keep time.

Too often I've struggled against the beat, trying to superimpose some kind of artificial "balance" into my days rather than going with the flow of the music of my life.  I've wanted to control my circumstances.  I've resisted the leadership of others, wanting to march to the beat of my own drummer--and I've often ended up out of step.

So this year I'm giving up on balance and working instead on rhythm.  And I figure that, with God as the conductor of the symphony, I can trust that the soundtrack of my life will be good.

How about you?  Do you have a word for this year?  How about an UNword?


  1. I love it. You are so right! My word this year is "live". Have many "unwords". Have to think which I would choose.

  2. LOL... balance is the word my seven year old picked for herself for this year. What kind of balance a seven year old thinks she needs, I don't know. but that's her word.

  3. Richella,
    This is such a well stated post. I feel that you captured exactly how I feel. I'm going to try for more rhythm in my life too!

  4. Great insight Richella! I'm always saying I need more balance in my life when in fact I need to move with the rhythm of life and stop stressing over the unexpected interruptions that bring about constant change! I was just writing a little devotional yesterday relating life to my first river rafting trip where the waters were constantly changing and the importance of following our guide's instructions. When I go to post it I would love to use your word "rhythm" and link back to you if that's okay.

    Love and hugs to you dear Richella,

  5. I LOVE your new word Richella and have never thought of how true it is that balance isn't really a realistic thing all the time. Thanks for sharing your insights and wisdom!

  6. I never looked at it this way. I keep telling people how I long for balance in my hectic life. But what I really need is a sense of rhythm. Thank you!

  7. Yes...rhythm to just move with the ebb and flow of life! I like that.
    (Now a question...isn't rhythm spelled weird??? When you look at it long enough it just seems it needs another vowel after the second h.) Ha!

  8. Dear Richella, I really needed some time to think before I could leave a comment on this post. Balance always did seem like it could be appropriate in many areas of my life. And when I think of rhythm it makes me feel like I fit in. But I was asking the Lord what is it that I need; He said allow the Harmony to be up front. Blending in with the Body; My husband,children and my friends! I believe this must flow from our gifts from the Lord. This was really a good and thought provoking post!
    Thanks teacher :)
    Blessings Always, Roxy


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