Last Thursday I had a tooth pulled. I've been having some other teeth issues related to teeth grinding and a misaligned bite that require me to wear a mouth guard during the day for 4-6 months. I've already had a mouth guard to wear at night since college for the aforementioned teeth grinding and TMJ. (I have bad teeth in general--lots of cavities. I think it's genetic.)
Anyway, long story short, the oral surgeon said to me before the surgery, "I guess it goes without saying that you have a stressful job!"
I paused. Because the truth is, my job IS stressful. Or, at least, I get stressed by my job. Everyone in my company gets stressed out. My first assistant would grind through mouth guard after mouth guard. But I laughed and said, "Well, yeah, but it doesn't sound like it would be stressful. I'm a children's book editor."
I realized how ridiculous that sounded.
I remembered this post from about five years ago--"It's not brain surgery." Anyway, I think I take myself too seriously sometimes. I need to remind myself to keep things in perspective.
Getting a random comment such as the one from Anonymous (of course) on my post last week didn't help any. Because the comment was so ridiculous, I have to assume that it was a joke, or at least something written, for whatever reason, to make me angry. It DID make me laugh, and it DID make me a little angry. But anyway. Being a children's book editor is my job. Not my life. I value the work I do, and I dedicate way more than normal working hours to it, but I'm not a robot. I have to remember that balance in my life is important. It's important in everyone's life. Whether we ARE brain surgeons, or authors, or illustrators, or editors, designers, engineers, or teachers. We should all strive for excellence, but we need to also strive for balance. Yes, there's always something more we can do, but without balance, we'd be unstable, without balance, we burn out. With balance, we can do better jobs, and live better lives.
So, in honor of balance, let me share these quotations, all from the reliable source called the internet:
"What I dream of is an art of balance." ~ Henri Matisse
"Happiness is equilibrium. Shift your weight. Equilibrium is pragmatic. You have to get everything into proportion. You compensate, rebalance yourself so that you maintain your angle to your world. When the world shifts, you shift." ~ Tom Stoppard
"People with great gifts are easy to find, but symmetrical and balanced ones never." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Living in balance and purity is the highest good for you and the earth." ~ Deepak Chopra
"Balance is the perfect state of still water. Let that be our model. It remains quiet within and is not disturbed on the surface." ~ Confucius