In case you didn’t know, I write fantasy. Since you’re here, you probably read it. We’re all familiar with various mythological creatures and love to imagine that they truly exist. But we know, deep down, they’re just legends.
There are two things, however, I’ve heard about for years and the majority of people seem to be convinced that they’re real. They talk about them as if they’re truths and there are even so-called experts who say they can teach you how to experience them yourself. Over the last few days, though, I’ve decided they’re just as mythical as vampires and warlocks.
What are they? “Balance” and “Caught Up.”
|Like this but HUUUUGE! (Image from istockphoto)|
“Balance” supposedly manifests itself as a gloriously beautiful, three-story, golden set of scales that brings true happiness to everyone who sees it. According to those experts, you must achieve “Balance” with all parts of your life and when you do, you sing with the angels and sigh yourself to sleep with the utmost contentment. Life is wonderful when you have “Balance.”
Okay, first of all, I don’t know anyone, especially women, who can call a scale beautiful. Second of all, said scales have two – TWO – platforms with weights that offset each other, creating “Balance.” Anyone with any kind of life at all has more than two roles to play. Some of us have about 7. Or 20. Add all those platforms with their necessary beams and you end up with a many-armed monster that any normal person would run away from.
Getting all those platforms to hang equally? IMPOSSIBLE! Because just as we’re removing the last piece from one side – that last to-do for one of our roles – another side gets piled. And this added weight makes all those beams bounce and sway and now the monster is waving its ugly arms and yelling at us that we’re completely inept. RAWR!
Doesn’t sound all happy and shiny to me. It’s a myth, I tell you!
“Caught Up” is also supposed to conjure a wonderful, unearthly feeling down to your core that allows you to do anything you want without any guilt. It looks like a wadded up paper the size of a football stadium and its insides are covered in a list of tasks that are – gasp! – all. crossed. off. Can you imagine?!
Okay, maybe you can. Maybe you have had times when you’ve been able to check off everything on your to-do list, even when it was a mile long. But how long did that really last? Did you really get to bask in the warmth of freedom for more than a day, or an hour, or even five minutes, before another to-do reared its head?
“Caught Up” is more like that last to-do buzzing in your ear like a mosquito and you smack at it and clap your hands on it and everything goes quiet and you think, “Yes! I got it!” But before you can even breathe a sigh, another buzzing starts in your ear and you open your hands only to find them empty. You never really had “Caught Up” in your grasp.
Why? Because it’s a myth, I tell you!
I thought I knew “Caught Up” Friday afternoon when I closed the laptop and set out to the senior-boy’s football game. For the first time since…hmm…last Spring, maybe?…I actually felt like I had a handle on things. I felt like I could breathe more freely and could take on anything that popped up on my to-do list with a smile because it wasn’t overdue. But somehow, by Sunday night, I was way behind again. How does that even happen? I even worked all weekend!
Of course, all those to-dos are heavily weighted in only a couple areas of life, causing all kinds of imbalance. But that’s just how life is. We can strive for balance over the long run, but achievement of true “Balance” is a myth. We have to find what works for us and know we’re doing our very best in all of our roles, including the role of Self. And when “Caught Up” only lasts for a fleeting moment, we just have to enjoy that sense of relief, regardless of how false it was.
After all, we love fantasy. We like to pretend myths are real at least for a little while. Until reality hits again.
Have you always believed in these myths? Have you ever actually experienced either one for more than a brief moment? What other life myths have we been made to believe are real?