Today, I did something that I have rarely, if ever done, not only at my current job, but in most jobs I have worked in over the long and winding course of my life. I took a sick day. While that may seem inconsequential to many of you reading this right now, it is pretty monumental for me. I’ve always been the person that worked through the pain. Even when my head was splitting or I could barely sit up, or I was rocking a fever of 103 I “mowed through.” Because that is how I was raised. I watched my mother suffer through cancer and treatment and never miss a day. I watched her fiance and my pseudo-stepfather do the same until it got to be too much for him and he was forced to throttle back. Mom survived. Larry didn’t. But the lessons I learned from them stuck with me, and remain with me now.
But today? Today was different. It’s been a long time since you’ve heard from your old buddy The Madchronicler. I know. July of last year to be exact. That seems… Kind of shocking given my history. While I’ve never been the most consistent writer, I’ve never let it go for so long. I’ve never gone this long without updating you on my own, subjective life, universe and everything, or interjecting an opinion or five into the interwebs via this platform. Yes, the last six months have been a bit of a whirlwind. Where I envisioned myself last July in February of 2022 did not come to pass for a number of reasons. Were I to update you on all that has happened and all that is currently happening we’d be here all day or night depending on when and even where you are reading these words and to be honest? There are things I either cannot talk about yet or am unwilling to talk about. So? I won’t. What I will say is that I’m good. And also not so good. It honestly all depends on the day. But I’m here. And I plan to be here for a while so if you were hoping I was gone forever I am sorry to disappoint.
Also? The Minions are great. They’re keeping me busy but that’s what you get with a 12 and a nine year old. I embrace it. And the network of loving friends and family that has surrounded me for as long as I can remember is good, too. It’s even grown a bit, but I’ll avoid that topic for now, as well. Those people… You have kept me smiling and for that? I say “wus.” Booyakasha. And respect.
But pleasantries aside, back to today. Today, a pesky cold and a hectic schedule finally caught up with me and I concluded that it was time to take a break. So? Six hours of PTO (I did work a bit; sorry to disappoint) and a couple of naps later, I’m feeling better. Still not at 100% but I didn’t just “vedge” and nap all day. I did a lot of thinking, as well–thinking that was not accosted by my nine to five gig as a Business Development Consultant for once. And that thinking is the clearest thinking. And a lot of it centered on and around balance. I’ve written, or at least I think I’ve written about balance in the past. Light and dark. Yin and Yang. Good versus evil. And how in all of the above cases one needs the other to exist in balance. My life in many ways has been a case study of all of the above. I tried to do good but ended up causing pain. I walked away from things because their inclusion in my life threw my balance off. Finances and a life, a relationship with another person and one with myself or my children. And there have been moments in my life when I got there. Yet more often than not those moments quickly passed. And it’s taken me until tonight to realize one, singular, indisputable fact.
Balance as I always envisioned it cannot and should not exist. Don’t run me off WordPress yet. Give me a chance to explain.
Bob Dylan once wrote that “chaos is a friend of mine.” I jokingly adopted that adage when I was younger. Hell, the surname Madchronicler is a derivative of it. Little did I know however that as I got older, my once-self mocking characterization would become canon and an every day part of my life. Now, at 46 years young/old I am faced with things that I was only faced with in passing before. Life and death. Mortality. The prospect of financial f*ck-ups. Hurting others and being hurt. And I have realized that chaos is not and never was a friend of mine. Chaos f*cking sucks and should be exiled from this universe on one proverbial side of the wormhole forever.
But? It cannot be. And will not be because chaos, like so many other things needs to exist in balance with its much less annoying counterpart, peace. Chaos has been and will always be a part of life. The key is not elimination, but willing incorporation and that’s the lesson I have learned and felt the need to write about tonight. I’ve tried for so many years to get to a point of “balance” as I referenced above–you remember; that which cannot and should not exist–that I didn’t realize what I was really striving for was peace. But peace alone is… Kind of impossible. The way to achieve true balance is to accept that chaos is a real and inescapable part of life, and not run from it, but figure out a way to cope with it. That person who “did you dirty?” Rather than hold a grudge against and maybe even hate them, figure out a way to work with them toward a common end goal. You don’t have to like or love them, but if a civil relationship breeds a good result? Do it. That’s balance. Not everyone may agree with me on that and that’s fine. You don’t have to take my advice. But anger breeds and enhances chaos. And there may come a day when you are happy you decided to work toward a common goal with them, rather than tell them to piss off. The same can be applied to many things too, not just interpersonal relationships. Just my $0.02 folks. Take it for what it’s worth.
Today on my sick day I redefined what balance is for myself and who knows? Maybe for you. That wasn’t my goal but if I did? I’m glad. Today I realized that true balance can only be achieved by accepting chaos not as a friend, but as a shadow when the sun is in the east, and peace as the same when the sun is in the west. I understand and accept that I will always have good and bad, light and dark moments. I will cause pain, but I will also cause joy. Sometimes I’ll get it wrong and others? I’ll be right on the ol’ money. I guess that’s why I’ve always been fascinated by the “Gray” Jedi in Star Wars lore, or the True Neutral characters in Dungeons and Dragons. Maybe it’s why I’m a political centrist. Who knows? But I feel better and more ready for what comes next because of it. As for what that is…?
I’m not entirely sure, but I know that part of it starts, or maybe ends with “the sea has no memory.”
Winky emoticon. Smiley face.