This weekend I watch the movie Marmaduke.
It isn’t going to win any awards nor did it receive great reviews, but I have to admit that I laughed a lot and cried a little as I watched. Then again, I am a sucker for animals and their antics!
One of the more poignant themes for me was the dad, Phil, dealing with his kids and family and dog and job – that lack of balance came through loud and clear as the movie progressed until… he stopped thanks to Marmaduke.
Balance is difficult to obtain. At times in our lives we become consumed with work or with issues or challenges. We allow something to over shadow everything else for a period of time – throwing everything out of balance. The challenge is not allowing that “out of balance” to become the norm – and yet, my guess is that some people do just that. Often when we allow something to happen for a certain length of time, that becomes the norm; that becomes the way we live our lives. To find the balance again – or to find it for the first time – we have to stop, step back, and remember our priorities. We have to find a means of seeing the way our lives are spinning. It isn’t always easy to find that distance and see what is happening – perhaps it is more difficult to stop and take action, allowing balance to return.
Finding balance means saying no. It means setting boundaries as to the place work and family and friends and such have in our lives. It could mean putting way the Blackberry or turning off the computer. It could means standing up to your boss (as in the movie) and saying “no” risking… your job? It could even mean standing up to your spouse or significant other and saying” no.”
As I watched the movie, I could sense the reflection of American society playing on screen. The dad wanted to have more – to be a larger success professionally. He was willing to move his family, work all hours, and do what it took to be all he could be in his profession. I know so many who live their lives like this.
The idea of proving themselves or dong everything asked of them prevails. The idea of saying “no” for themselves, for their families, for whatever personal reason seems foreign as it could mean a loss of job. And yet, what do we loose when we don’t say “no?” When we elect to make an out of balance life our “norm?”