My daughter spent three weeks in Cape Town as part of study abroad for her minor with her university. She had an amazing experience, most notably going to the beach and seeing penguins! and seeing lions and zebra’s at a nature preserve. I am grateful that she did not get COVID on the trip and got the full experience. I am grateful that her flights were not delayed or cancelled. I am grateful that she had an amazing time! I am grateful for the university to offer such a wonderful experience, and for the professors who organized the learning experiences.

My prompt for the week is BALANCE. Here’s how it was used in the books I’m reading:

  1. I read a book about how to sustain friendships through the long haul…which I hated FYI. The word “balance” doesn’t appear in the book at all. How can you have a book about relationships and not have the word balance. I know this is a thought not a quote, but I thought it belonged in both sections.
  2. But did that balance out the thoughtlessness of leaving it unsaid for so long? Annabel Monaghan
  3. Unwashed, without his glasses, starving, and knowing his life was in the balance, he had broken down after six months in solitary confinement and having regularly been beaten unconscious. Sonia Purnell
  4. The clubhouse is both spartan and lavish- the tricky balance required by the hardy rich. Jennifer Egan
  5. This past summer had been so fraught, so off balance and distressing that I hadn’t been able to enjoy it. Krista Higgins
  6. “And Finbarr taught him to catch a football and balance it on his nose.” Nina de Gramont
  7. “Well, you’re in for a treat. They’re set on this planet that’s balanced on four elephants on the back of a giant turtle.” Freya Sampson.
  8. Leah likes to balance the checkbook, whereas I assume that the bank will contact me if there is a problem. Charles Wheelan
  9. She will talk about sustainability. About the need to hold on to some sort of balance in nature. Charmaine Wilkerson
  10. For all of us, the challenge is how to balance work and family and do a decent job at both. Caroline Kennedy
  11. Without the delicate balance of a sustainable rhythm in our day-to-day lives, little things pile up becoming big things that overwhelm us. Melissa Michaels

Here’s how I’m going to think about balance:

  1. Can you talk about relationships and never mention balance?
  2. Is balance the key to life?
  3. When I read about balance, it often seems like a circus trick- is that because balance is sort of a novelty that doesn’t really exist
  4. How do we make balance in our lives?
  5. Do people still balance their checkbooks?
September, 1918

This afternoon was the colour of water falling through sunlight;
The trees glittered with the tumbling of leaves;
The sidewalks shone like alleys of dropped maple leaves,
And the houses ran along them laughing out of square, open windows.
Under a tree in the park,
Two little boys, lying flat on their faces,
Were carefully gathering red berries
To put in a pasteboard box.
Some day there will be no war,
Then I shall take out this afternoon
And turn it in my fingers,
And remark the sweet taste of it upon my palate,
And note the crisp variety of its flights of leaves.
To-day I can only gather it
And put it into my lunch-box,
For I have time for nothing
But the endeavour to balance myself
Upon a broken world.

Amy Lowell, “September, 1918” from The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell. Copyright © 1955 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Copyright © renewed 1983 by Houghton Mifflin Company, Brinton P. Roberts, and G. D'Andelot, Esquire. Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Source: Selected Poems of Amy Lowell (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002)

One of my blogging buddies wrote a very thought provoking post yesterday:

Give it a look if you have a chance.

28 thoughts on “Gratitude and Mindfulness: 6/18/22

  1. I hope your daughter’s trip to SA has planted the seed for a lifetime of world travel. Cape Town and several other places in South Africa are among the best of the world’s many gifts. Re balance in friendship, sometimes a longtime friendship can become one where it feels that the balance has been lost. I hadn’t thought about it this way before reading your post, but when the friend always needs reinforcement and becomes only the taker, never the giver, it makes preserving what has been an important relationship quite difficult. On a very different note, thanks for the shoutout, LA!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think my daughter has always had a travel bug, but yes…I think her goal is to explore!! Your post was very thought provoking, and about a subject we should all be looking at a bit more closely

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad your daughter got to visit SA. That’s somewhere I’d like to see and experience. I believe in balance in the overall of any endeavor but not obsessively in the minute-to-minute of doing things. I take a long view of it, nor do I feel there’s anything wrong with being off-balance for a while. That’s where you learn things that help you become balanced again.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So many threads–
    Your daughter–I’m so happy she is safely home and had a great experience.
    Balance–I think it is something we would all like to have, but it is difficult to achieve.
    Amy Lowell’s poem–so beautifully written
    AI–Google needs to listen to the people they hire to advise them on ethics. Ethics has gone out the door in so many areas of our current society–government and big business, for starters.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think balance is important. So it would be challenging not to use that word in describing any kind of relationship. If I think back I probably spent way too many hours at my job. I was always creating lessons, writing grants etc. I also probably spent too much time focusing on my family… but I try to do the best I can in just about everything I do. EXCEPT cleaning house and cooking. I never enjoyed either of those tasks so I never felt the need to achieve an A+ in those areas.
    I think we should put balance into our lives… but then again… if one is passionate about something he or she will want to spend more time on things they love. For instance, I’d eat ice cream bars all day but I know that salads, fish, fruit etc. need to be eaten too so I will try to balance out my food habits. I love mysteries and historical fiction. So I’ll read more stories like that then anything else. It’s pretty normal to have favorite interests. So nothing is always going to balance out… except maybe our check books. Lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think with friendships, you need to realize that sometimes you need to give your friend more and then vice versa. I think a good friend acknowledges that they might not be the focus of their friend all the time…if that makes sense

      Liked by 1 person

  5. How wonderful your daughter got to have those experiences. I’m reading a book right now set in South Africa: Ruby’s World by Karen Baldwin. An eye-opener!

    Balance and relationships? I suppose, but I don’t think this is really an achievable state. The beauty of life is how we juggle the things rolling off the table.😂

    Liked by 2 people

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