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Balance

January 13th, 2009 · 12 Comments · Random Stuff

a perfectly balanced pile of rocksA week ago my family and I went to a local park. There is a dry stream bed that runs through the park, and we were walking along it exploring when we came across these rock piles. I was stunned. The photograph doesn’t really do them justice. I felt like I had just come across Easter Island. These rocks are stacked on top of one another. There are bigger rocks stacked on smaller rocks, and the joints are not flat but angled and precarious-looking at best. There is no mortar or cement holding them together, and no hidden steel bars running down the center. They are just perfectly balanced. Whoever created these piles was talented. We tried to make our own rock stack, with limited success (and one almost crushed foot). These amazing balanced rock stacks also proved to be ephemeral. A few days ago when I came up with the idea of writing this post, I went back to the park to get a better picture. The piles were gone. There were just random rocks strewn around the stream bed, and no evidence the piles had ever existed.

balanced stack of rocksLife is about Balance
Life is like these stacks of rocks. Life is about balance. One needs to balance work against spending time with family and friends. Of course one needs to make a living and put food on the table, but for what, if one doesn’t enjoy time with ones family or friends. Some of us have it easier than others. Some of us have the big heavy rocks at the bottoms of our stacks, others of us have the big heavy rocks at the tops of the our stacks. Life isn’t fair – it’s just life.

Life’s Balance is Percarious
No matter how balanced one may think their life is, their stack of rocks can be swayed, or worse, knocked over. You can lose your job of 20 years, you can be diagnosed with lupus, you can see your retirement fund lose half of its value when the stock market goes south… you can burn the chicken on the bbq, the milk for your coffee can be spoiled, or you can open the fridge and find there is no more Blue Beaver beer (ok, I thought I was getting a little too serious). But if your stack of rocks gets knocked over, you’ve got to stack it back up, and if it gets knocked over again, you’ve got to stack it back up again, and if that little punk hiding in the bushes knocks it over a third time, then throw one of the rocks at him and make sure you hit him. Life isn’t fair, but it’s what you’ve got.

Blogging is about Balance Too
Blogging is about writing posts on your own blog, and posting comments on other blogs, and writing new posts, and responding to comments on old posts, and knowing the proper balance between all of these things. It’s about knowing whether to write a new post, or whether to go for a hike instead. It’s about knowing whether to sleep in on a Saturday, or whether to get up and backup your blog and then write a new post. It’s about knowing whether you’re spending too much time online and not enough time with the real flesh-and-blood people in your life.

I don’t think I’m a “real” blogger yet
When I first started this blog, I would watch a movie and then focus my attention during the movie on whether or not I should write a post about it. Or I’d see a great play at my daughter’s soccer game and wonder if there was a blog post in it somewhere. Or I’d wonder if there might be a blog post in what we were having for dinner, or the call I got last night at 10pm. It seems that a “real” blogger should judge everything they do or see by if it could be the basis for a post. They need to constantly be thinking about that next post. But that’s not me, at least not at this point. When I saw these stacks of rocks, I never thought about writing a post about them. I was just awed. It was actually my wife that took the picture, and I’m glad she did. Because by the time I came up with this post idea and went back to get a new picture, the rock stacks were gone.

I’ll end this post with two quotes about life, one from James Dean, and one from the movie Braveheart (a most excellent, excellent movie).

“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.”
~ James Dean (1931-1955)

“Every man dies.  Not every man really lives.”
~ William Ross Wallace in Braveheart

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