Dog-Hair Dust Bunnies

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Dog-Hair Dust Bunnies

As the week of kid’s vacation ended and the husband jetted off to the other side of the world, I looked forward to getting back on my little daily plan. In my ongoing battle to have a modicum of work/life balance, I put together a really awesome running training plan (with help from experts of course), and I made a list of things I wanted to do daily that included items such as basic self care and creating a bit of time for a little thanksgiving and inspiration. I also plugged in a reasonable amount of time for work. If I follow my plan, I can take care of everything and still have time at the end of the day to relax.

Alas, it was not to be. The pressure in my ear that I was trying to ignore turned into a full blown infection. I was down for the count. After dropping the kids off at school on Wednesday, I crawled back into bed under three blankets and a comforter and shivered and sweated for the next two days fading in and out of consciousness. Each time I stumbled down the hall, dog-hair dust bunnies floating before me, seeking another bowl of raspberry jello parfait, I berated myself for not vacuuming. This was followed by a stern tongue lashing for not unloading the dishwasher or tidying up the kitchen.  As tasks undone floated through my head, I chided my lack of commitment and dedication and reamed myself for not taking the initiative to do them. I thought about my plan and beat myself up for not even attempting an item on it. Mind you, there was no doubt in my mind that I was sick.

So, I took myself to task and asked myself a simple question, “Why are you being so mean to yourself?” “Seriously, dude, (yes, I call myself dude) be nice.” I had no choice but to address the issue and continued to turn this question over and over in my fever-ridden mind. Why was I being so mean to me?

By Friday, I had enough focus to read. A lovely essay entitled “34 Things I’ve Learned About Life and Adventure”×5/34-things/ by one of my favorite writers, Chris Guilllebeau, landed in my inbox. Item number 5 hit me like a ton of bricks. Chris said:

“Balanced people don’t change the world. Passionate people who don’t have it all together change the world. If you’re worried about life-work balance, something is probably wrong with your life or your work. Instead of agonizing over balance, get excited and create change.”

And what I realized in my nighttime cold medicine and jello induced stupor, is that I’m not a balanced person. I don’t even like balance or symmetry. I love flying by the seat of my pants. I like figuring it out as I go. I prefer to jump into the dark, murky waters of the deep end of the pool even though I can’t swim. I know I’ll get to the side eventually. When I find that thing that lights my fire, my focus is laser and my passion ignites. I’ve seen it happen in my life before as I’ve thrown my weight behind a jobs I loved, causes I believed in, and motherhood.

I do need a bit of order (otherwise I can’t find my keys), and maybe I mistook my need for order as a mistaken desire for balance. They are two very separate things. I’m not sure where it all went wrong. I’m not sure when I started to see balance as the means to an end.  But what I don’t need is balance. The reality is that I love to immerse myself in the things I care deeply about. I like to dive in and be obsessed. Because when I’m at my best, is when I’m passionate. When I’m happiest, is when I’m immersed. I’ve never had it all together and I probably never will and that’s o.k.

This week I followed my heart. I dove into a project. I let it consume me. I forgot about everything else and just allowed it to take over my life. I worked hard and it was tough at times, but I relished the focus. I had huge breakthroughs and made great headway. And guess what? My life didn’t fall apart. During the in between times, when I needed a break, the “stuff” got done. Laundry was cycled, bills were paid, and quality time was spent with family and friends. I ran, I carted kids to and fro, and nobody starved to death.There was no balance, no time tables, and no deadlines. It was just me being committed to making headway on a problem I feel passionate about solving. It was me making the decision to not worry whether every single thing was crossed off the “list.”

This week, each time I walked down the hall, dog-hair dust bunnies floating before me, I smiled and felt blessed.


  1. Breakthrough, breakthrough! I gave up any desire for balance forever ago. Welcome to the land of controlled chaos. 😉

    • I’m not even shooting for “controlled chaos” at this point. As long as I can find my keys, I’ll be happy to slide side-ways or upside down.

  2. I love reading through your blog, thank you for sharing.

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