"The ingredients of both darkness and light are equally present in all of us,...The madness of this planet is largely a result of the human being's difficulty in coming to virtuous balance with himself. "
— Elizabeth Gilbert ( from the book "Eat, Pray, Love ")
Something I have come to see in the recent years of my maturation is that life is all about finding the proper balance. While I am very happy with what I am doing right now, I still find myself checking the balance of my activities. What I mean is this: we must find the right amount of fun, of compassion, of serving others and of nurturing our own growth. We need to enjoy life while never neglecting the needs of those around us.
If we become too focused on the service aspect of life (without taking time to "recharge"), we are likely to burn out and become disillusioned with the world in all its disparity. On the other hand (and this is the hand which many people hold on their life's walk), taking too much time and focus on ourselves results in overindulgence and ignorance.
Balance in the Past Weeks
In the last bit of time since my last post, I have been having a lot of fun/time for myself, and wondering if I may be needing to look around and lend a hand a little more often. It's funny, though: living with the Catholic Worker community and contributing to their work for the homeless population of Los Angeles is really quite fun in itself. But in addition to the satisfying work of volunteering full-time, I have been enjoying benefits of living in one city for an extended period of time; I have been hanging out with friends, going on social bike rides, and getting to know the City. This is the first time in almost three years that I have planned to stay in a city for more than a month or two.
Freeganism is another venture which blends fun with a purpose and mission. This month, an article appeared in the Orange County Register called, "Trash: It's What's for Dinner", which features my boyfriend Eric and me along with the LA Dumpster Diving Meetup group (for which Eric has been organizing events; in fact, that's how we met).This month, we also had our second Dumpster Ride and Freegan Meal, which was another fun success (click on the link for pics and more info).
Something else excting that happened this month is that my friend Rick came to LA from Sacramento to visit me. Some of you may recall that I donated a kidney to Rick back in November (I will post pics in this blog when I find them); I only mention that to raise some awareness of living kidney donation and the need for people to step up and help those suffering from kidney disease. I will probably talk more about that at some other point. It was very good to see Rick for the first time since the transplant. He is doing well and we had a good time for the two days that he was in the City of Angels.
All in all, my life is in more balance than it has been in a long time. But, as always, I will continue to search for that perfection we all seek.
The Search for a Better Name
Another search I would like to conduct is one for a more intelligent name for this blog. "The Adventures and Thoughts of Grace" just seems a little silly to me at this point. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know!