find balance

In an epic tug of war, team foes (Dark, Left, No, Bad, & Down) are locked in perpetual battle with team fiends (Light, Right, Yes, Good, & Up). Neither team has a true advantage in this fight as the question is unasked, so a tension hangs in the air thick as a Savannah afternoon's air.  In this fight between foes and fiends, there can be no middle ground, no half-victory.

Thankfully, that is not true of all of life. Coffee doesn't come only as I order it (black), but it can be adulterated to include all manner of things such as sweeteners, flavors, and even things that alter its appearance as in the case of cream (as my wife would order it). In fact, it seems that very few options I am met with in real require hard and fast answers, and for that I am thankful.

In the time that I've been working at my present job, it has been a challenge for my to find a balance on several levels. What time should I get up and go to work, and do I carpool with my wife or just leave when I'm ready? How should I devote my time: minor maintenance or major innovation? How should I react to the behaviors of coworkers that I find annoying or unprofessional? Should I pack my lunch or go out in hopes of being part of the team?

I go back and forth on that last one, perhaps more than any other. The folks I work with have generally been with the organization for many times longer than I have, and they have lives that intersect outside of the workplace (although I don't know if work-life bled to lived-life or if those circles already overlapped). But joining up with them means going out to eat, often in places that don't have great choices, and I honestly don't make the best food choices.

Every week or two, I try and specifically make plans to pack several consecutive days to strive for a bit of balance. When possible, I align these days to those when I know my compatriots will have other plans because of meetings, standing engagements, or such. but it doesn't always work out that way. Usually it means I head to the grocery store, grabbing some bread, meat, and cheese, and probably a little fruit. Frequently these things just get assembled, wrapped in plastic wrap, and stuffed in my backpack where they languish without refrigeration until my coworkers are at lunch.

This week I didn't make the trip to the grocery store, but I did have some left-over brioche that we had purchased to make French Toast over the weekend (planning to make it twice, but only executing once). Along with some peanut butter and jelly, I executed a beautiful PB&J at my desk. I even managed to find balance with my sandwich!

Two slices of brioche, left with strawberry, right with concord grape.

There are obviously many places I'm seeking balance in life: rest, exercise, socialization, entertainment, spending, family... the list really goes on for quite some time. But it is a process, one that doesn't seem to have an end in sight. I'll see over time if perhaps the balance becomes more natural, but I imagine that I'll find that enough things in this world vie for my time that I'll have to make choices, and they won't always be balanced ones.

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