How To Live In Balance

We’re all born with a natural tendency — perhaps an unconscious one — to want what we don’t have. The question is, how do we turn this into something positive? It’s not impossible. It’s just a good challenge.

My best friend, who has been diagnosed with cancer, had her left leg amputated and had to give it to me in order to survive her treatment. My sister, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, is being treated at the same time by doctors. But the one constant in my life is that as of today, I have my hair. All of my family members have lost hair over the years, so they too have their own ways of living in balance.

We take this naturally — but there’s no substitute for a daily reminder that something is wrong. My dad says, we can still make it through each day. I do. But you’ve got to remind yourself. And no amount of “You’re not losing your hair, you’re losing a limb” will convince you otherwise.

I’m not saying that you can’t try to live in balance (well, not to the same level as someone with hair) — but you can do it differently, and you can do it on purpose, not because you have to.

You can become a better cook. When people ask me what’s been keeping me going most of this year, the answer is that it’s always been simple. And simple is what I’ve learned is important.

I make what I eat and I make it well. I drink lots of water, use natural remedies for a lot of ills, and I love to read.

I never think of it as balancing, but it is. Sometimes simple and natural is just what we need to survive.

You can become a better communicator. It’s so easy to speak your mind — and it’s so easy to be ignored.

For me, this is easier said than done. The last time I was this self-doubting and nervous I was about 6, it didn’t last very long. I don’t want to be as self-deprecating or self-conscious as that person, but it’s a challenge I know I have to overcome in order to remain an open-minded person. The most important thing is to stay in touch even though you may be too embarrassed to write or call.

You can live in balance with your career. I know that I am a very creative person when it comes to a lot of things — art, fashion, music, books — and most times it works, but only when I’m really passionate about it. It’s true for any creative field.

When I look back, this is the part of life that I’m most proud of. I have the same passion for my work as I did for my hair. I’m not satisfied when I see a finished product in my studio — I want to see it as I’m finishing it. I want to do more work.

You can be a better parent. A lot of us talk about how hard it is to parent. I’ve tried to help other people with their kids as best I can. I don’t always succeed. It’s not hard — I know that — but it takes a lot of courage.

So I’m going to stay in touch with my kid’s friends (and make sure to do a good job of pretending I’m happy about it). But this isn’t about how much, it’s about having fun. You have to be willing to let go of an unrealistic sense of accomplishment when it comes to the things that matter to you — and make room for the things that don’t.

You can go through the day without letting your worries show.