Thursday, September 12, 2013

Teeter totters

Way back in first grade my friends and I at PV Elementary (holla, Bluejays!) used to play on this specific piece of playground equipment. Back then we called it a seesaw or a teeter-totter, but today I'm pretty sure they call it a lawsuit waiting to happen, as I rarely see them on school playgrounds anymore. Some silly elementary kids must have ruined it for everyone.

Anyway, the teeter totter is like a huge balance (you know, like the balance in science class) with seats on each end. My friends and I used to take turns trying to get the teeter totter so off-balance that we would either flip over the handle bar and smash our faces on the metal lever or get rocked so high off the seat and into the air that it's a wonder some of my male friends are having kids at this point. Again, we don't see many of these toys anymore because some stupid kids must have acted like fools on them way back when. 

Even though I rarely see these relics on playgrounds anymore, the teeter totter keeps coming to mind lately, as I've felt a bit like my life is getting slammed out of balance with my body flying over the handles and my face up against the metal rails more often than I'd like. I'd choose the physical version of the teeter totter over the proverbial one any day. At least you can get off that ride. 

What am I trying to say? Well, if you remember this post from a while back about finding the balance in spending and saving for an adoption, I might have alluded to the fact one of the trickiest things in life is finding the balance in all realms. And I'm having a hard time with that. I like to sort my feelings out on paper, so that's really what I plan to do in this post (because I also love to publicly open myself up to more even more ridicule than I already get as a coach).

Here I'll discuss some of the areas in which I find balance hard to attain, and maybe it's because balance isn't meant to be found in some areas. Maybe I should be living with reckless abandon in some areas, but which ones?!

The home/work balance: This is a huge daily battle for me, as I feel like a truly cruddy mom when I'm gone for camps (and, consequently, not planning bday parties until the morning of), gone from 6 am until 11 pm for school and volleyball games, and stressing about volleyball in the middle of the night when I should be resting so I can give more (happy) time to my kids an husband the next day. As I've told some people in the last few days, I became a teacher because I wanted to help and serve kids, but also because I wanted to be home in the summers with my own kids.

Problem is, that's not happening. I spend a LOT of time at school and on the volleyball court at various events during the summer, which isn't exactly what I had in mind. I have a great job. I love it, I work with some incredible high school girls in an amazing district with great leaders, and I get to (try to) be good role model to countless high school students throughout the day. But what about my own kids? And why do I spend so much time thinking about parents who despise me??

The problem on the other side of this balance act is that I truly felt God calling me to teach, at least for a season, because I wanted to shine a light (hello, first-year teacher idealism), and I feel like I should keep working to help fund this adoption. I see NO WAY that we could afford to adopt (let alone feed and clothe three or more kids) without my earning money, and my district pays teachers well. So it's hard to give that up. But what's most important? Spending plenty of (unstressed and unhurried) time with my current kids or working to make money to give other kids a family and HOPE, as well as continuing to try to shine a light in dark places. Or can I do both?

That's the balancing act I have yet to master, and I might take a few smacks on the face before I find it, if ever I do.