THE DIVORCE PAPERS
by Susan Rieger
Sometimes I think there might be too many things I enjoy. Does that sound silly? Maybe it's not a case of there being too much to enjoy, but instead feeling like there's never enough time to enjoy it all equally. And, truth be told, there's not. There's not enough time to do all of the things I'd like to do in this life. There's barely enough time to do all of the things I'd like to do in one day! But that's not the point, is it? As my mother said this weekend (about a totally different topic) "Nothing is always equal or fair." She's told me this about work, she's told me this about relationships, she told me this (many times) as a Teenage Libra who was constantly seeking fairness in all things. The point is not to have fairness in your life or to evenly distribute your time between things you love. The point is to enjoy them... perhaps simply, to enjoy.
And while I believe that to be true, I also am beginning to know myself well enough to recognize when I'm out of whack. Out of balance. Off my equilibrium. It happens when I spend too much time or energy or effort on one specific thing, and unintentionally ignore the many other things that make me happy. I become cranky and I nag about there being dishes in the sink. I eat a bunch of crap and I forget how much I love cooking delicious and healthy meals. I have a shorter temper than usual and I am not as patient and loving as I want to be, as I know I can be.
While reading The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger, a quote about a third of the way through the book leapt off the page at me and I couldn't forget it: "Happiness is equilibrium. Shift your weight." The quote is actually from Tom Stoppard's play The Real Thing. It's advice from a father to his daughter. And it's good advice.
I know that keeping a balance between my many loves is what makes my life happiest... it's actually one of the cornerstones of this blog (and my lack of writing here has been something "out of balance" in my life for quite some time now). But the second part of that quote is harder for me to remember to do: shift your weight.
What I love most about it is how simple a directive it is. Shift. Shift your position. Shift your attention. Shift your attitude. Not "be perfect." Not "be amazing at everything." Not even "make sure to keep it all exactly balanced." Just a little shift.
With the post inspired by this book, with the projects coming up that excite me, with the adventures that lie ahead this summer... I look forward to the shift already in progress.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Susan Rieger's THE DIVORCE PAPERS to read and discuss as a member of the online book club From Left to Write. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own. Click here to purchase your own copy of this book.