Finding Balance by Accident

These are desert 4 o’clocks. I posted some photos of them last summer, but haven’t so much this year because, well, we’ve barely had any. Our incredibly dry winter and spring meant the plants never really grew, much less bloomed. Even the ones next to the house, that I watered twice a week (our water restrictions) faithfully, didn’t get more than a few inches tall.

This clump, however, is on the far side of the driveway, was never tended, and burst into bloom. If you look closely, you can see another clump deep inside the juniper in the background. They’re on the east side of the juniper, so I think the got protection from the afternoon sun, the drying west winds. For whatever reason, they were in the perfect spot to flourish while the rest didn’t.

We spend a lot of time talking about this culturally. Failure to Thrive is a well-studied medical syndrome among babies. Educators constantly seek ways to encourage students to flourish – however that might be defined. Lots of people discuss work vs. life balance.

I’ve had that on my blog topics list for a while now. Actually it’s been #1, through sheer inertia and says:

  1. Work/life balance – only the mommies think about this?

That’s because a friend added me to a Facebook group of “smart women.” (No, I have no idea why she included me. Most of them talk about techie stuff. And marketing. Nobody asks me to explain the power exchange dynamics of a spanking, like my CPs did last night.) One of the things they do talk about is work/life balance. Kind of a lot. I felt like I didn’t have much to add to the conversation (reference: spanking conversations) and I wondered why. Then I noticed that they usually defined the “life” part of the equation as being with the children. As my stepchildren are grown, no wonder this isn’t really a consideration for me.

I’m thinking about it today though. Those of you who regularly read know I’ve been on a long day job trip. And work has been crazy busy. In fact, our boss who is forever exhorting us to work more hours, to make certain metrics, is now cautioning us not to burn out. (It’s entirely possible he’s been replaced by aliens determined to undermine our GNP.) I had enough hours for the week before I started work yesterday, so I’ve been toying with the idea that I should, after a few conference calls this morning, take the afternoon off.

Yes! my brain chimes in, and we could write that synopsis. Send those queries. Answer those interview questions. Send some feedback on the new website, including on that incredibly outdated friends/blogroll list. (I know, I know – I can’t believe none of you have complained about it.) Then it occurs to me to that all of that is just for my other work, my writing job.

So, I think, no, if I take the afternoon off I should do something for life balance. I’m trying to decide what that would be.

Which makes me pitiful, I’m sure.

This is the thing that people often cite about having children, that they force you to slow down and enjoy life. They *make* you play. So, maybe I was too hasty in my judgment, as judgments almost always are, that this is a mommy thing. Maybe it’s on their minds more because they have to think about it.

Perhaps we just all need to find that little spot that lets us flourish.

Like High School, Only Steve Madden

Nothing particularly special about this photo, except that I’m home now and this is how it looks this morning. Giving up lots of gratitude today.

I liked being in Philadelphia and Baltimore, though, seeing what people on the other side of the country are up to. If you follow me on Twitter at all, you would have seen me going on about the resurgence in 80s fashion. I know, I know – this is old news, I’m sure. I work from home in the New Mexico countryside without cable or satellite TV. I’m not exactly cutting-edge anything.

So the resurgence of the slouchy boot took me by surprise.

You know what I mean – the ankle- to calf-high soft leather or suede boot, lots of folds and wrinkles. The young women are wearing them with tight jeans and drapey shirts with *gasp* SHOULDER PADS, people! I don’t miss much of 80s fashion, but by golly, I miss my slouchy boots.

There might be one particular pair of purple suede slouchy boots from college I will always remember fondly.

At any rate, I announced my intentions on Twitter to acquire me some boots, possibly just like those ones I used to have. And one of my old high school friends, the AntiM, replied that she’d already bought some last year. (She is all kinds of cutting edge, even if she’s letting her blog starve  death.) I, of course, asked what hers look like. She said, just like the ones SHE had in high school, only these are Steve Madden.

It is ever thus. We are nostalgic for our young selves, but no reason not to kick in a bit of an upgrade.

Designer Shoe Warehouse, here I come!