Thursday, July 8, 2010

Trying Something New/ A Lesson in Balance

Lets, face it, I have an addiction to my computer. No, seriously. Every day I find myself asking "Why the hell can't I just step away from this stupid thing?"

So, we're trying something new. The worst part of the addiction is I find the most assinine things to do. Facebook is very much the culprit. I mean, I miss the days of watching Homestar Runner cartoons in my buddy Jon's smoky computer room (which, alas, is still quoted in my home.) So, my new goal is to find more purposeful things to do while sitting in the monitors not-so-warm glow. Hence, the rebirth of the blog.

I'd like to think I have interesting things to say. I'm not stupid (say for a few bouts of 'mommy brain'), I have a toddler - which makes for hours of entertainment to boot - and I'm rather involved with the community and the process of making it a better place for my daughter to live. I try to pay attention to politics, I'm pissed as hell about the BP disaster, so I'm pretty sure I'm bound to find something interesting to say.

My intention a few hours ago was to write a blog about complaining. But before I got to really put together my thoughts on the subject, I got into a heated discussion with someone guessed it...complaining. I'm not sure if this makes me more or less eligible to write such a blog in this moment, so I'm going to hold off.

I do, however, want to write about a topic that seems to be popping up a lot lately...Balance. I've been attracted to the yin yang symbol since, for certain, Sophomore year of high school. Though, back then, I had no idea why. I've told the story to many people of how I was trying to debate what to put on my class ring, and one side boiled down to the yin yang, and the cross and Bible. Five bucks to the person who guesses what the final result was. Yep, NOT the one that is currently tattooed on my left arm. (Thanks Mom! :P )

The basic premise of the yin yang is that you cannot have the good without the bad. Even on the ying side of the symbol, there's still a little dot of yang to keep it in check, and vice versa. If life was infinitely wonderful, the joy and splendor in life would become the norm, and you would lose sense of appreciation. On the flip side, if life was infinitely miserable, you would accept this as your fate and you would never know joy.

There was a time where I saw lots of yang, but not a lot of yin. Unemployment seemed to plague this home, an unplanned (yet blessed) pregnancy, every time we had a shot of getting ahead, something on the car would break down, you name it. But the yin was that we never went without. We came out of the situation with our home, our car, our family and our sanity relatively intact. I didn't always see the light at the tunnel back then.

I also have a friend who once thought that if a lot of good landed on her lap, she then deserved the bad to eventually come, so to the point where she seemed to invite it. Don't dupe yourself into thinking this. The Universe knows what it's doing. If you find a $20 bill on the sidewalk today, you're allowed to enjoy your good fortune. Perhaps that $20 bill, which you happened to find just before realizing you left your wallet at home while at the coffee shop, was a response to bad night in tips you had a month ago.

Of course, this, and the conversation of Karma, is frequently met with, "Why does good things happen to bad people?" The Christian faith proclaims that "God has a plan." I don't necessarily find this to be wrong, though perhaps a bit misleading. "The Universe has a plan," would be my response, but with a few stipulations.

What defines "bad things?" As an example, Aaron fought to keep a job by hopping from temp job to temp job for the majority of Autumn's life (about 2 1/2 years,now). Being that I keep the budget and checkbook, many times I yanked my hair, lost sleep, and even got upset with Aaron himself for irrational reasons. In the end, those temp jobs gave Aaron the skills needed to land the permanent (and perfect for him!) position he is currently working.

A more extreme situation involves death, or critical injury. I think of a a story currently in Sheboygan news involving a family of six who crashed their car while visiting family in Mexico. The mother is currently still in too poor of shape to be transported. They all survived, but the rehabilitation will likely never end. In other recent stories, there are drownings, fires and other situations where innocent children have died. What good can possibly come of these things-which I think we will not argue are all "bad"? I do not know the individuals personally, so I cannot answer for these families. I know the drowning of a 9-year-old girl brought a divided community of Musilims and "everyone else" together. In these cases you have a heavy load of yang, and too many people feel that after such a tragedy, they do not deserve to be happy again - to have their yin. This is also false. This is where you need to balance your sorrow out with the support of your community, in whichever form may present itself to you.

I guess what I'm saying is that while you have freewill, don't push the issue. Strive for as much yin as possible, but accept that the yang will come... and go. Balance allows you to feel your joy, sorrow, and all feelings in between. You are allowed to grieve, but it musn't consume you. You are allowed to love, but don't let it make you reckless. Humankind in its ignorance, hatred and irrationality, has managed to survive this long. Let the Universe do its job.