I went for a walk yesterday. On my own.
I don’t go for walks by myself. If I do go on a walk, it’s with my wife and maybe my son biking around us. And even if I did choose to go on a walk by myself, I would put my earbuds in and listen to a podcast to occupy my ears and brain.
I walked by myself, in almost-complete silence, aside from the many words running through my mind.
Just me, walking, mind wandering, partially thinking about this blog that I can’t write, partially thinking about the stuck-on-my-computer, and partially on the parent call coming up. I’ve been writing the same blog post for two weeks. Of course it’s about this overwhelming feeling of imbalance. The same imbalance that is keeping me from writing it. Over 2,000 words of imbalance, essentially. Lots of words, different forms, and none of them seem to fit.
So I just walked. I had been stuck on my computer for three hours, mostly of my own volition, and I needed to get out. It happens every few days when I can’t seem to break away from the work. If I just do a little more, I’ll feel better. But I never do. I get up stiff, both physically and mentally.
So I walked. Of course, my mind went to this blog that’s been stuck in my mind and the upcoming parent conversation. The blog I started is actually a result of parent conversations. And those parent conversations screamed with imbalance. Parents who are looking for something better for them and their kids, but can’t seem to find it. The conversation, much like the surveys our school has received, range from frustration to gratitude. Everyone I’ve talked to knows they are lucky, but also can’t find normal.
There is just a constant reminder of imbalance. Similar to the parents I’ve talked to, I’m pretty confident that I’m doing okay. When people ask me how things are going, I can confidently say, “Okay.” Not great, but I’m in a better position than many. Yet I can’t get my thoughts together enough to feel like they are valuable. Yet, good enough to keep trying.
It all feels strange and like I’m just fighting the balance. I frequently attempt to do yoga in my house and I know that more you fight to keep your balance, the less likely you are to find it. So when I finally turned a corner and put my thoughts down on my walk, I started to find a little balance.
It happened to be a beautiful day. Bird were singing. Someone was laying out on their lawn in the sun. Grass was being mowed. A few other people were strolling around the neighborhood. What you would expect on a nice weekend day. But it was Wednesday. What struck me was, why can’t this be normal. Why can’t there be a time and place that allows us to take a walk on a Wednesday after lunch and just enjoy our surroundings. This shouldn’t really be that weird, walking and thinking and enjoying a beautiful day.
So I decided to stay outside and take the parent call, only to have the wind continue to interrupt me. Fortunately these parents forgave my choice to be on the phone outside and we had a good talk. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any answers that will provide the balance they are looking for. Fortunately, we talked calmly and shared our thinking, knowing that neither of us had answers but feeling better about talking then sending probably misinterpreted emails.
Later that day, one of my colleagues explained the way that she has successfully dealt with anxiety is to acknowledge it and know that it is okay to have those feelings. What I am taking away from my walk and my continued revelations is that, for now, imbalance is somewhat normal. I need to acknowledge it, stop trying to fix it, but keep working through it. I will keep working toward balance, and maybe taking walks, but I’ll try not to fight it anymore.