1. a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight,amount, etc.
2. something used to produce equilibrium; counterpoise.
3. mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior,judgment, etc.
4. a state of bodily equilibrium: He lost his balance and fell down the stairs.
verb (used with object), balanced, balancing.
18. to bring to or hold in equilibrium; poise: to balance a book on one's head.
19. to arrange, adjust, or proportion the parts of symmetrically.
Source: Dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/balance)
People seem to scoff at the term "resolutions" quite a bit nowadays. As if they're a joke, a trifle. But there's reasons people grip onto the idea of resolutions at the end of another year. They want to be better. And that is always an admirable goal. This is a year when I truly embraced the resolution. Not resolutions to chat about and then throw out the door as soon as the clock strikes midnight in the new year because they can't be maintained. But realistic resolutions. Ones to live by. To live a healthier existence and thus be a better mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, editor and writer. To sleep more. To not take on SO much all at once. To find balance. These may seem like a lot, but it's really not. I believe it just requires some serenity and a few moments to take stock, slow down, and realize what should be priority.
Balance. It's a word underused and under-appreciated. And yet, there's quite a few literary thoughts on balance that don't see eye to eye:
“Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.” -Anaïs Nin
(Perhaps a tad dramatic, eh? I like to think I can obtain balance and create something great without great terror or instability.)
And on the flip side, we have:
“Without balance, a life is no longer worth the effort.” -Olen Steinhauer
(Again, this one seems a bit over the top.)
Personally, my favorite is Ellen's. She's always spot-on with her observations:
“My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The pina and the colada.” -Ellen DeGeneres
Yep, right on, per the usual.
Balance can play different roles in life, but my personal imbalance comes from several years of running myself ragged trying to keep up with life's demands and ones I've put upon myself. I've suffered from guilt while writing my own books or spending time with my son or husband because I needed to do work, and I've felt guilty for working when I felt I should be devoting more time to my family. So I'm working on ridding myself of that guilt and taking on only what I can reasonably handle.
Over the years, I've found I can obtain balance best by incorporating a number of past-times and activities into my life:
-Experiences v. stuff
-Afternoons soaking in sunlight and fresh breezes (will have to wait for spring, I suppose)
As 2016 takes hold, I wish you all a balanced journey, and I will be working toward bringing a steady and guilt-free equilibrium to my world. And that includes spending more time writing what I love, connecting with readers, and finishing projects.
I was on my way home from my son's little soccer class tonight when we passed a house shining with the soft glow of the season. And lit up on the side of the house was the word "Believe."
Around this time of year belief plays a large role in movies and books—whether it surrounds believing in Santa Clause or faith—and in our interactions with our children as we strive to create one more magical Christmas where it's plausible an Elf sitting on your shelf truly flies or that Santa is truly watching.
My son has a logical little mind, and there's a part of me that thinks this might be his last Christmas believing. He asks questions and points out implausibilities on a regular basis. When asked if he thinks magic exists, he'll usually answer in the negative. But he is buying the Elf on the Shelf bit this year, at least I think he is. There's also the chance he's just playing along with Mommy's madness.
Belief recently played a role in an interaction I had with him at bed time, but this one was a little different than Santa Clause and elves. I was folding laundry while he ran around the upstairs giggling insanely as small children do when he came up to me with a blanket wrapped around his head like a bonnet and said in a high-pitched voice, "Hi, I'm Amy." I laughed and played along, although I had been surprised by his choice of names since I didn't know of anyone with the name Amy that he might know. Of course, there could be someone at school with the name, or maybe he'd heard it on TV, so I shrugged off my wonder.
A little later, after we'd read a story and had laid down to talk for a few moments before I left him for sleep, he said in the same high-pitched voice, "I'm still Amy." So I said, "Can I have [Son's name] back now?"
And his response was the catalyst for the next few minutes when he said, "[Son's name] isn't here right now."
Now, there must be at least a dozen creepy movies where a child is possessed and says something along the lines of what he had said. Of course, I just laughed and told him he was silly. He then turned to the side, whispered something, and turned to look at me announcing he was himself again with a thrilled little grin. But then he continued to turn to his side every minute or so and whisper to his new friend, "Amy." So I asked more about her, and he explained she comes from the mirror, and when I asked if she was invisible, he said, "no, she's like a ghost." He then told me she would come back through other people. Umm, like possession? I thought, feeling my skin crawl as my son wove his tale.
I have to say, that despite my rational nature and my intact skepticism, there's still a part of me that for a split second thought he was possibly talking to a ghost. I mean, I am a writer after all. Our imaginations some times get the better of us. Plus, he'd been talking about the "people in the mirror" since he was three.
Of course, I was home alone and I texted my husband our creepy little conversation, which he found hilarious. The next morning my husband asked my son about "Amy" and once again he started talking in a high-pitched voice. Then my husband took on the moniker of Christine and the two of them pranced around the family room talking like girls. It made for great entertainment while I sipped my coffee and laughed. I of course should have just asked my silly little creative boy if he was playing pretend or if he thought what he was saying was real. Because his answer the next morning was, pretend, of course! Sillier mommy.
Although only four, my son has inspired a story idea or two, something about the People in the Mirror. I feel a Middle-Grade novel in my blood, but it's still brewing alongside the developing mind of my growing son.
I DO believe that magic can exist in even the skeptic, as long as creativity is allowed to grow. So although my son may not believe in Santa Clause next year, or maybe he will, who knows, I know his imagination isn't lacking in magic.
K.M. Randall writes fantasy and paranormal for both a general and young adult audience. Her debut novel, an epic fantasy called Fractured Dream, launched in June 2014, and her second book, The Reaper's Daughter, launched May 2015. Randall also published Fairytale Lost, a prequel to Fractured Dream, as an exclusive on Wattpad. She blogs about dreams, female heroines, and activism and its relevancy to the literary and fictional world. And when in the season, sometimes she just likes to talk about Halloween. She is currently hard at work on the second book in the Dreamer Saga series, Shattered World.