Energizing, satisfying, engaging, introspective, exciting, insightful, smart, current, thoughtful, illuminating, nourishing and colorful. This fall, I found myself standing in front of a wall of words at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. I was immediately drawn to the bright colors, bold graphics and choice of words. I suppose they represented the promise of what the museum was about to offer.
As I entered the museum, I left the words behind. Some paintings were familiar, like old friends. Other exhibits had things I’d never seen before. It was fun and stimulating to see the different galleries. When something caught my eye, I stopped. Things that didn’t interest me, I passed by. I was selective.
I started to think about how visiting a museum is very much like how we live our lives. There is so much to choose from. There are many things to experience. It doesn’t all make sense or even interest us. Life can even be overwhelming because of the vast amount of choices, so we search for a comfortable balance. We pursue what “catches our eye.”
For me, I’d rather see a little and really enjoy my time, than try to take in everything and become overloaded. Perhaps it has something to do with pacing or maybe it’s a matter of knowing when to say “no.” Finding that right balance takes effort. Sometimes we have to go overboard in one direction before we can bring ourselves back to a place that feels better.
I often hear comments like, “life is so crazy” or “life is so busy.” It’s as if we allow ourselves to visit every gallery and view every painting. We don’t let ourselves be more selective. For me, I’ve figured out that to truly enjoy my experiences, whether it’s being with family, working with clients, visiting a museum or reading a good book, it’s essential that I allow myself time to focus on those things singularly. I don’t try to pile multiple things on one another. I’m like the kid that doesn’t like her peas and carrots to touch. Give me one thing at a time so I can fully enjoy it without any other distractions. Perhaps that’s a bit extreme. Ultimately, you want to find the right life balance and mix that works for you.
The word wall that promised also delivered. My time spent at the museum was energizing, satisfying and colorful. In fact, the wall of words set the tone for the rest of my day in the city. Each experience was enjoyed, one moment at a time.
When do you feel most balanced? How do you know when you’re out of balance?