I was at the chiropractor last night for a complimentary new patient assessment. I stood on the scales and stared straight ahead at a mirror lined with black tape, showing the best possible symmetry for our bodies.
The scales beneath my feet showed a nearly ten pound difference between my right and left, how I subconsciously live an unbalanced life, always tilting imperceptibly to one side. Ten pounds to the left. Sounds about right: babies, bigger children, purses, camera bags, grocery bags, the stuff of life, all right there, spelled out on scales, in the mirror before me, on the doctor’s face as he tilted his own head to the side and repeated variations of a common theme, for someone your size, this isn’t right.
I then turned my neck from side to side and up and down for his inspection. Again. For someone your size, in your shape, you should be far more flexible (in your neck.) I bent down to my toes, stood again and ran my hands, one then the other, down the length of my legs, tilting, stretching. Better. But still, that neck and those shoulders, the tilt on the scale. Does your lower back bother you? Does your neck bother you? Do you shoulders? Aren’t you in pain?
Essentially, you are an unbalanced mess of a woman.
Well, you don’t say.
This morning, I awoke to Evaline handing me my glasses at my bedside, then toddling off with my cell phone (my apologies to anyone who received a bizarre text or if I accidentally called you in the early hours of the morning.) On the floor, in the wake of Evie’s rummaging, was my Bible, pages crumpled, the pen from inside it, tossed across the floor.
Groggily, I stepped over it and reheated coffee from yesterday afternoon. My children ran outside to play, leaving a table of banana peels and soggy Special K sticking to the rims of their plastic bowls. I sat down at the computer to start back editing where I left off last night around one AM.
What was that about balance?
Oh, right, I have none. I have a weight inside that keeps me centered enough to not topple over, but I am not straight.
I am not the best version of me that I can be.
Of course, it’s not something that cannot be fixed, I am not broken after-all, only off center.
So, I will be going back to the chiropractor for adjustments to remedy my physical body. But I am also envisioning that black-lined mirror as a guide for my inner self. Am I balancing my soul or my prayer life? Am I balancing my relationships appropriately, my work? Am I balancing my thoughts – the positive and negative, the scary and the sweet – and am I keeping them all in check so that my feet stay on the ground and my head from the clouds?
And so, a challenge to myself for the day:
Sit up straighter.
Be busy, but not blind (to sunrises and sunsets, to banana peel tabletops, to the children giggling in your yard, to the Bible at your bedside.)
Be open, but not ignorant.
Be patient, but not a doormat.
Be kind. (But nothing, just be kind.)
Be the mirror of symmetry that your children will look to, to find their own sense of balance.
Like every other mother on the planet, I have a lot on my shoulders and many reasons to be weighed down on one side or another. Trouble is, when your balance is off, your focus will shift, your heart will tilt, your intentions will slide and what may be imperceptibly off center (to you) will become the ideal that your children will strive for.
Now, to balance out that scary, you’re going to mess up your children to the point that they will write books about your terrible parenting, thought – I’m going to go outside for a few minutes, see the sun, breath the air (and maybe even run around the yard for a few minutes, kicking up dirt and hiding from imaginary pirates with my own little reasons to be better everyday.)