Life in progress

Balance – #JusJoJan 2019 Jot #25


It’s a hard thing to find, balance. I spend far too much time sitting on my butt, writing, editing, and canoodling on social media. Even the balance between time spent writing and promoting is a difficult one. But what I need more than anything is exercise.

So it’s nice when there are natural consequences that lead me to doing what I should be doing. Like today, for instance, I walked to the hospital to visit my mother. (I was able to go because Alex finally went to school! Yay!) It was a choice between a fifteen minute walk and fifteen minutes of shoveling my car out of the driveway. Yeah, the shoveling might have been better exercise, but I still had to walk fifteen minutes to get home as well. AND I saved $4.50 for parking.

My mother is doing a bit better, by the way. She looked better, though her breathing is still laboured. The doctor asked me if she’d ever been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), to which I replied no. But it’s not at all far-fetched that she has it, since she’s been smoking since she was 14 years old. Her 89th birthday is in three weeks. So once I get her home, it’s going to be a matter of explaining to her that if she doesn’t quit, she’s going to die. She won’t understand, and if she does understand, she won’t remember the conversation 45 seconds after we have it.

With dementia, it seems, there is no balance.

On a personal level, I put a lot of faith in balance. I’m a Taoist at heart. The yin yang symbol is all about balance. An equal amount of black and white/feminine and masculine.

Each is contained within the other.

I miss Tai Chi. Which is something that would help my mother. If I had time to get her out of the retirement home.

Most of my lack-of-balance issues come from being the one responsible for everyone else. Being a single mother and an only child in the sandwich generation ain’t easy.

Then there’s the balance between sobriety and drunkenness.

I think I need more wine tonight.

“Balance” is the prompt word for today, brought to us by JP. Thanks, JP! Click here to find her JusJoJan post for today. And say hi while you’re there!


It’s never too late to participate in Just Jot it January! Click the following link to find out how, and see all the other participants’ links in the comment section. It’s fun!

Author: Linda G. Hill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

29 thoughts on “Balance – #JusJoJan 2019 Jot #25

  1. I’m glad your mum looks better. I hope they can get her breathing under control.
    89-14 isn’t easy math for me, but I can safely say that’s more than 70 years of smoking. Bless.
    I seek balance all the time, but generally, it ends up one extreme to the other.


  2. Yep balancing kids and parents definitely isn’t easy and on your own must be (at least) twice as hard. I’m glad to read you got your Mum home although at 89 and with dementia I would be giving up on the let’s quit smoking fight. My Mum never smoked so we didn’t have that fight but we battled over medication before she was admitted to a home. Sometimes you have to pick your battles. Balance is hard to achieve – even my Wii fit tells me that lol.


  3. Thinking of you and yours and wishing you all well. Some situations are beyond our control, such as yours. I do hope that you will get into a smoother patch soon. Maybe there are online tai chi videos that could help you get back in practice without having to go to a class.


  4. Life balance is so hard to find. Anyone who says they have is deluded or worse. I think you are doing a great job at juggling life, keep it up 💜 I am delighted Alex got to school and that your Mum is improving. Getting her to stop smoking even without dementia would be hard so don’t beat yourself up if she ignores you. 💜💜💜💜


  5. Glad your mom is a bit better and Alex went to school. Good choice on the walk vs shovel/drive. I’ve struggled with balance my whole life, in oh so many ways.


  6. I’m Taoish, too. My mom used to say that if my grandpa wanted to eat sugar when he wasn’t supposed to when he was 89, she wasn’t going to tell him no. At 89, he didn’t have a whole lot of years left, so she was going to let him enjoy them. He lived to be one month short of 95. He had dementia, and them Mom did. So I know how difficult it is to explain, enforce, and get loved ones to internalize good advice.

    I’ve been on a Facebook vacation this last couple of days, and found much more balance, emotionally and with my time and energy. Exercising more, too! I think FB is my enemy. I miss being in my friends’ pockets, though, and I miss the funny memes. BUT I HAVE MORE TIME TO VISIT WEBSITES! 🙂


    • Facebook is such a time-suck, isn’t it? Good for you for staying away!
      Yeah, I picked up my mother from the hospital and took her back to the retirement home. First thing she did? And she coughed all the way through it. o_O
      Thanks for sharing your grandparents’ story, Marian. It helped 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, dear, Linda, I hadn’t been reading so I didn’t know about your mom. You are carrying a heavy burden, but what a strong spirit you have. As a former smoker, I can attest to the difficulty of quitting. With your mom having dementia, it’s a greater battle no doubt. You do what you can but remember you can’t fix everything. Balance. I find it in yoga, both physical and psychological balance. And give yourself kudos for walking to the hospital! Walking is better exercise than shoveling, in my humble opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Marie. It’s not easy watching herself slowly kill herself for an addiction, but I realize I have to let the burden of it go. There’s no way to stop her at this point. I got her out of the hospital today and a cigarette was the first thing on her mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Some might say that at this point it’s probably one of the few pleasures in her life. I can’t say I blame her, although I could probably never take up smoking again. As a former smoker, the smell and taste make me nauseated. Don’t forget, Linda, you are an amazing person: Caring daughter, devoted mom and celebrated author. Understanding the need for balance and doing what you can do attain it has a lot to do with your success as an author and a human being.


  8. I hope your mom gets better every day. I know how tough it can be for smokers to kick any kind of infection in their lungs, but it sounds like she’s on the way to recovery.

    My mother has been a smoker for over 50 years and refuses to give it up, even though she’s had pneumonia more times than I can count and has to be hospitalized every time. They just can’t let those cigarettes go. It really is so sad to see how something that’s legal can be so addictive.

    When I was a kid and there were still places you could smoke indoors, I remember she was in the hospital with pneumonia and actually had an ashtray attached to her hospital bed. And you better believe she was sitting in that bed, with pneumonia, smoking! Just crazy.


  9. and finding the balance during challenging times is the hardest, but when it’s most needed

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I hope you got a nice bottle :-). For some strange reason WordPress does not want to connect with the comment function when I read your posts (or any posts for that matter) in my browser. That is why I use my Twitter profile. How odd… Hope you have a good day and am glad that your mum is better.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Balance is the key, but easier said than done. Hope your mom gets better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Balance walking with wine. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Finding that balance is a tough things sometimes, Linda! I struggle too so you are not alone!


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