Remember those funny words and phrases with all the mixed-up syllables?
shake a tower
Spoonerisms. Sometimes accidental, sometimes for comic effect – but almost always quite amusing.
I (sort of) spooner-ed two originals –
- Mickey-ing a Mouse (Mickey-Mousing around)
- Speez-da bo (supposed to be)
When I’m in a light-hearted mood, I still say them. Sometimes to myself because I don’t think anyone else recalls that I was so clever – or even heard me when I first said them.
These past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about speez-da bo. And how things are “supposed to be.” Or what I’m “supposed” to do. Or what I “should” do.
At the beginning of 2021, I had a few thoughts about how I wanted the year to turn out and how I could make it better. So, I chose four tasks that I either wanted to do more regularly or wanted to do much better:
- Post on LivingCenter once a week
- Write to Edwige, my little friend in Togo
- Make journals
I made a little book – nothing special, but you know I had to make one – with pages dedicated to memorializing my progress in each category. I broke the first three into months with some fancy writing, a picture of Edwige and my birdhouse logo. The last, reading, I left to a simple list – an optimistic 1 – 52.
It’s no surprise that March was a bit sketchy. Maybe you heard about my epic trip-and-fall episode (I’m fine and would really rather not talk about it anymore.) My mom started to fail more rapidly and my anxiety about her peace and comfort must have grown as she appeared less and less responsive with each weekly video-call. And then, when she finally got to hug my dad after just one day short of 27 years of missing him, things just kinda fell apart. In fact, March and April always beat me and my family up pretty bad.
But back to spoonerisms and my tiny book. And the focus of what I started writing about almost seven years ago – balance.
What I search for continually – balance.
What is elusive and yet critical for living a sane and productive life – balance.
We talk a lot about accountability. Schedules, calendars, timers, bullet journals, and apps keep us on track and steady – exercising, dieting, blogging, reading, staying hydrated. Small, community groups and prayer partners help us stay spiritually fit and resistant to temptation.
We also hear a lot about self-care. Take time for yourself… to process/sit with your emotions… to do things you love. Don’t “should” all over yourself. Listen to your body.
Figuring out how to balance accountability with self-care is tricky. My schedule and bullet journal tell me to be diligent about exercising. But my body is telling me every single time I turn around too fast that dizziness and falling down are to be avoided at all cost.
My app says, “Leave the cannoli, take the carrots.” But my heart and memories tell me to enjoy that cupcake in memory of my mom on what would have been her 100th birthday.
I know these are silly and easy examples.
But when the frenetic Peloton commercial is followed by a beautiful woman mooning over a Lindt chocolate truffle … or the bright and bold pictures of a perfect family enjoying endless road trips and adventures in the $45,000 sweet ride SUV show up so abruptly in the middle of a news report of refugees losing hope at our southern border… when we continuously see these imbalances – these well-made and well-placed 30-second spots, and feel no sense of whiplash? Well, I feel it strong.
But there’s no simple formula for creating, correcting, or maintaining balance. There’s no simple path to follow that won’t disappoint or mislead or completely fail. Every decision we make has its own set of weights and counter-balances. Each carrot or cannoli makes its own little impact on the measure of our lives.
Maybe I’m speez-da bo more conscious of my diet or how much I study the scripture. Maybe I should have a better bullet-journal with multiple trackers and different tones on my cell to keep my reminders straight.
Unfortunately, March and April are closer to the beginning than the end of the year, so the spaces between marks and circles memorializing my blog posts, letters to Edwige, and book titles look more like failures than encouragement.
But I’m not giving up. Not even with the lingering effects and trials of a pandemic, two broken front teeth, and too many cupcakes today, my Mom’s birthday, God rest her soul. I’ll make my poor decisions, followed by uncharacteristic spurts of healthy and energetic ones. I’ll eat that Lindt chocolate while watching “Let’s bring that thunder, Peloton!” I’ll neglect regular Bible reading, but enjoy an open and honest conversation with Jesus every day.
I may not post every week or read as much as I would like. I may not stay truly balanced all the time. But most days, I think I move toward the center.
And I’m not going to “should” all over myself each time I wander outside the lines… because every once in a while, we all need to do some Mickeying a Mouse. Don’t we?
Now, until we write and read again, I pray for you …