The Pendulum Always Swings

articles Oct 24, 2022
We’ve all given up on perfection, right? At least in theory.

In truth though, I suspect for most of us there is still a tiny place, deep down inside, where we’re hanging on to the idea that we can to do it all, be it all and have it all. It’s a piece of us we try to hide away, because the only thing worse than not being perfect is wanting to be perfect & failing at it.

But on the surface, in public conversation, we’ve let perfection go & embraced her tricky sister: balance.

It’s okay if I’m not perfect as long as I’m in balance. As long as I’m taking care of self, work, relationships, health, personal growth, love, family, passions, creativity, and on and on and on. As long as I’m investing equally in all the things that are important to me, then I’m good. I’ve got it all under control, in perfect balance.

But does life ever really work that way? It seems that there is always something demanding our time and attention more than the rest. A crying child, a high maintenance client, an injury, an illness, a friend or family member in need, a big project, a deadline, a storm of one sort or another.

There is always something pulling us out of our best efforts at balance. And for a moment or a season we need to focus a little more effort over here, or spend a little more time over there. I’ve come to accept that this is normal. This is natural. This is the way of life.

Nothing is static. Even the elusive balance requires push & pull. (It’s all about opposing forces, ya know)

The pendulum always swings.

Our work is not to avoid it. Our work is to embrace it. Don’t get stuck feeling shitty about what is inevitable: you will get pulled off balance. Things will break down. Life will go on. You will be better for it.

The pendulum will swing. You can either hop on for the ride with an open mind and an open heart, embracing the messiness of life, screaming “weeeeeeeeeee!” as you rocket through space, or you can allow it to drag you kicking and screaming like an overtired tantrum throwing child resisting bedtime.

I used to think, “when things calm down, then I’ll (fill in the blank)”. But the truth is, things never calm down for long. And when the do, rest is usually what’s needed.

I’ve learned to embrace the pendulum swing, even when if pulls me off my desired course. If I work my ass off for a while, I will need to rest. If I let myself rest I will feel re-energized, re-invigorated and ready to go again.

When you try to moderate creativity, passion, or love, you smother it. Sometimes you have to let the fire burn until 4 in the morning. And then take a nap to let yourself recover.

Sometimes you have to hustle. And when the hustle is done it’s time for some fun. Or rest. Or whatever is calling you next.

Trust that all things will come in their due time, even if it’s not when or how you planned.
In other words: all timing is divine timing. Even when we don’t like it.

Trust the timing. Embrace the messiness. Enjoy the ride.

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