Friday, August 10, 2007

The Balance of Thick and Thin

THICK AND THIN

“The big book is thicker because it’s bigger!” “No, the little book is thinner than the big book because it has a paper cover and the other cover is hard!” “No no no, my hair is thicker than yours because it is brown.” “Well, my daddy is thicker than me because he is taller.”

How exactly do you teach thick and thin to a preschooler? You can’t use words like “height” and “width” because you’re bound to hear crickets. You can show them the spines of two different books like I did, one thicker than the other, but most likely, they’ll say the book that is larger in size (not necessarily with the most pages) is the thicker book. What on earth can I say to make them understand?

***

BALANCE

My friend Jill has been doing a phenomenal job of balancing all areas of her life. This will explain it all…. I am so proud of her, and I’ll admit, a little envious! There’s a definite reason why I’ve chosen to be Denver’s Tumbling Leaf…twisting and turning, tumbling and fumbling through life…constantly trying to start over and get myself grounded. If I were Denver’s Balanced Leaf, perhaps there would be no point to my blog at all.

My life has been chock full of “thick and thin” lately. New second job, lack of exercise, applying to grad school, missing Chicago and friends and family, planning our wedding, dealing with anxious dog. As always, I need to do a better job of evening the thins and thicks. When life throws Webster’s Dictionary on one side of life’s scale, I find myself tossing a People Magazine on the other and crossing my fingers that it will somehow, in some way, balance. My my my, how DOES Jill do it? Intuitively place The Devil Wears Prada on one side, and The Nanny Diaries on the other? As cheesy as that sounds, as silly and girly that analogy is, it fits her, and um….well…did I say that I was proud of her? She amazes me.

***

THICK AND THIN

My Mark has the balance down pat – he always has. He understands what it takes to easily glide through the thick and thin. Especially lately, as he’s creating a monthly budget for me to help with my bills, working a second job doing freelance database work in his spare time, walking the dog in the morning when I can’t wake up because I’ve worked until 10 p.m. the night before, and washing all of my dishes from the burnt, crumbly cookies I attempted to make right before I left for my second job. Not to mention the great big hug that I got from him as I was in hysterical tears because the house was all smoky from what should have been the cookies. The definition of thick and thin, in this instance, to me, is synonymous with unconditional love. And to him, it comes so naturally – balancing his life and our relationship and making it all work. I love that about him.

***

BALANCE

I realized, clearly, that teaching thick and thin doesn’t necessarily have to do with what I say, but what I do.

“See kids, you can have a really BIG book with THIN pages on one side of the scale, and a really SMALL book with THICK pages on the other and they will balance. I promise!”

So I plopped both books on the scale and we all watched as the scale balanced itself and most of the kids said, "Now I see it!"

And right then I made a mental note to listen to myself when I try to simplify things for the kids. To force myself to physically see the balance, just like the books on the scale, before I finally learn to work through the thick and thin. If I can remind myself to visualize the balance, my thick and thin, no matter how big or small, will surprisingly begin to even out.

Until then, this leaf will twist and tumble, but enjoy the ride along the way.

20 comments:

Lisa said...

Wow I loved this post! I too struggle with balance, with thick and thin and everything in between... thanks for sharing this with me!

J. Lee said...

Oh wow, Chrissy. Thank you so much for the compliment! But remember, you're MY mentor and the balance changes each day with each new obstacle, some days, the devil wears prada has the thicker pages, ya know? So you even the other one out...

I think you do a great job of being a strong, independent person and a loving, caring fiance and roommate. I still haven't figured out the balance of not losing myself in a relationship and you've got the edge on that. I'm proud of you for that because while I thank you for being proud of me as a single mom - you deserve credit for working so hard on your relationships as a friend, fiance, teacher and Ulta professional. You're doing a great job!

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