I don't know when, but sometime in the past five years that I've been blogging, I know that several times I referred a poem about balance that my mom had on the refrigerator for years. I'm pretty sure she took it down and pictures of grandchildren were put up in its place. I meant to ask her where the poem was and if I could have it to make a copy, but I kept forgetting, distracted by the damn children. Well, I found it. Buried in a pile of odds and ends that I would have tossed in the trash had I not become such a control freak with regard to the cleaning and emptying of my mom's house, I found the poem. It is called Strive for Balance.
Strive for balance between work and play, between seriousness and laughter. Pray regularly. Also go to a ballgame.
Stick with the truth even if it makes you look or feel badly.
Falsehoods are like wandering ghosts.
Forgive your enemies as part of the price you pay for the privilege of being forgiven. Realize that you are sometimes a pain in the ass yourself.
Walk. Get a lot of sunshine and occasionally some rain and snow in your face. Get some dirt on your hands, too.
Talk your troubles and mistakes over with someone you trust. Your dreams, too. Don't underestimate the ability of the universe to help you straighten out a situation given a little time and patience.
Discriminate among your fears. Learn to tell which ones are useful, which ones are destructive.
Remember that the death rate is still 100%. You would be getting gypped if everyone got to die and you didn't.
When you can't sleep, say "A-ha! Here's a chance for a little privacy and creative thinking. All day I've been too busy to focus, but now I have stillness and quiet space to think," and then take full advantage of unexpected gift!
Fall in love with life - with children, older people, sports, the stars, the theatre, music, books, cities, hills, the ocean - everything except money - but be generous with what you have. You can't take it with you.
Just strive…for balance.
I am currently going through what some people would call a season of life. I call it a goddamn clusterfuck, but you know, I prefer colorful and offensive language to flowery metaphorical bullshit. Today, yesterday and many days lately, I have, without realizing it, reaped the benefit of reading this poem hundreds of times over the years when I was growing up. Somehow, over the years, I integrated the words and ideas into my subconscious, and they have helped me strive for balance despite the shit storms I have endured, am currently enduring and will most likely endure in the future.
I knew I wanted to participate in Donna Day, a celebration of the life of Donna Quirke Hornik, but I wasn't sure I'd be able to find the time to blog. Shit storm, you know? But then I thought about how throughout Donna's life, she had such a natural way of finding balance, despite the fact that cancer was taking over her body. During her too short life, Donna used her mind, she used her words, she used the innate ability we all truly have to seek and find this balance (IF we choose to make the effort), to find beauty and harmony in the littlest things, and that made all the difference to her and the people who loved her.
There are some things in life that are very grounding, meaning that they bring us comfort and familiarity when are feeling distressed and lost. Words, melodies, scents, ideas, you name it, they help you find your footing when you are falling. If you haven't found your grounding thing, I recommend you give a look see and try to find it. Today, I took time to go outside and get some sunshine, because I just wasn't feeling balanced at all. Nature grounds me. Donna and I have that in common.
Donna's parents have shared her powerful story from start to finish, but the power of the story is in the person that inspired it, not the way it ended. Her momma, Mary Tyler Mom, blogs about the power of blogging as a vehicle for awareness and change. Her mantra is "Blogging works." Today, I was able to consciously strive for balance because of the words from the poem and thoughts of Donna, and I wouldn't have been able to do that if her mom hadn't used her beautiful words to make her real to me. And now have some grounding words to guide you as well in the poem about striving for balance.
Pay it forward by helping others. You can honor Donna by clicking on the link to Donna's Good Things /St. Baldrick's pediatric cancer fundraiser and donating your time, treasure or talent by clicking HERE. You can also read Donna's Cancer Story HERE.
The ultimate death rate is still 100%, so Donna…I"ll see you when I get there, Kid, and I'll thank you in person.