So we’re in the week of Tiferet in the Counting of the Omer, which is variously translated as ‘splendour’, ‘truth’ and most notably for today’s post, ‘balance’.
Whatever day we’re up to in the Omer, the essence of that day always translates into your actual life. Little wonder, then, that I started the first day of the week of ‘balance’ by having an absolutely ginormous, massive fit about the complete lack of balance going on all over the place.
I have many virtues, but ‘balance’ is definitely not one of them.
If I’m working, either it’s full-on, obsessive crazy deadlines, projects and ambitions.
Or I don’t work. Full stop.
With the food, either it’s green smoothies, sprouted spelt bread and gluten-free cookies.
Or it’s bourekas and pizza.
Ditto, with spiritual stuff. Either I’m talking to God for hours a day, working on plans to eradicate all my terrible character traits within a week, and trying to implement yet more stupid chumrot (stringencies).
Or I can barely find the energy to do even basic stuff like wash my hands in the morning and bake challahs.
You see what I’m saying?
No balance. None. Nada.
(If my husband would read this now, he’d comment that the ‘no balance’ thing is also an extreme. Of course I have some balance some of the time. He keeps insisting that the trait of moderation is actually there, tucked far away, so either he knows me much better than I know myself, or he’s wrong…)
This is the first year it’s actually struck me how much work I need to do in the area of Tiferet, because usually I like to translate that as ‘truth’ – which makes it sound like I can take it easy – as opposed to ‘balance’, which is arguably one of my biggest challenges in life.
So what was today’s unbalanced melt-down fit about?
It’s like this: I have barely worked in any real way for 8 years. One of the big reasons I quit working is because I couldn’t ‘switch off’ work while I was at home, which meant that I was an absent parent and wife, even when I was physically ‘there’ in the flesh.
A few months ago, God showed me very clearly that I can’t just sit on my couch being spiritual any more, and that I actually need to get out there and do stuff again.
With my usual lack of balance, I threw myself into the task 100% – I wrote two books in two months; I started up another website; I started planning all the courses I wanted to teach, and all the classes I wanted to give.
Except, I was so busy doing all this stuff, I haven’t been cooking properly, cleaning much or taking care of things on the domestic front again.
I thought I was getting away with making pasta for supper five times a week, until yesterday I realized that me and my family are started to fall apart from the quiet neglect.
We’re all tired from eating bad food; my house is a mess; and I went into ‘stuff the rainforest’ mode again and made everyone eat off plastic so I wouldn’t have to wash-up. I’m so preoccupied at the moment that I’m asking my kids the same question five times in a row, because I’m not paying attention to their answers.
In short: it’s a domestic trainwreck.
I realized something has to change, to bring back more (dare I say it) balance. But here’s the problem: I have no idea how to do it!
When I have projects to do, or deadlines to meet, I just kind of fall in, and I don’t even notice no-one ate supper yet and it’s approaching 9.30pm.
As always, the answer is to talk to God about it, and ask Him to help me out, here. If He wants me to be working again, in whatever way that means, then I REALLY need some help to balance that with being a mother and wife.
I couldn’t do it in the UK when I had a cleaner, two dishwashers and the ability to eat out whenever I had no time or energy to cook. How I’m meant to do it now, I have no idea.
But hopefully, He does, and this is the week He’s finally going to clue me in, as well.