Most of us are familiar with the Yin Yang symbol (and some of us doodled it endlessly on our jeans and Chuck Taylors in an attempt to seem emo and soulful, and maybe sought out tee shirts and cheap silver jewelry emblazoned with it…but I digress).  A Taoist symbol, it represents, in brief, complementary opposites.  Or, if you’re me, balance.

We have several cats (stay with me  here, I’m going to tie this together, trust me), one of whom is an enormous seventeen-pound marmalade beastie with the loyalty of a St. Bernard.  One of the others is a tiny skittish seven-pounder who thinks that Big Orange is his mother, and tries to nurse whenever possible.  Yes seriously. Yes, they are both male.  It’s led to some interesting conversations around the house, let me tell you.  But anyway, Big Orange takes it like a man and often the two of them are curled up together in the cat bed, looking for all the world like a misshapen Yin Yang. (See, I told you I was going somewhere!) Admittedly, the opposing forces, in this case orange and gray, are not exactly equitable, but still, it is all very cute.

And sometimes, when I saw them curled up in there not-quite-equal but still adorable ball, I would think that it resembled my life.  Small Gray is the writing part, and Big Orange is everything else, and they’re not exactly equal, but it works.

But lately I’m not meeting my writing goals.  And this is what the cats look like:

Clearly Big Orange is overstepping his bounds.

Life, not unlike Big Orange, has started to squeeze out the precious limited writing time I did have.  And the scariest thing was that for a while I didn’t even mind:

After all the days are getting longer, the weather is lovely, the birds are going wild outside…why should I worry so much?!  Why am I making myself crazy with this writing thing?  It’s not like anyone’s waiting on my novel…I still have to revise and query the damn thing!

But became clear that I needed to fit writing in somehow.  I miss it.  I have story ideas waiting to be written.  I have a new plot development for Swim that will make it much better.  I have to fit the writing back in somehow.

And when I saw Small Gray’s head sticking out like some kind of whiskery tumor from beneath Big Orange’s bulk, I knew they needed to renegotiate their Yin and their Yang.  Clearly the balance of power was out of whack.

So anyway, once again I am trying to find balance…trying to enjoy the energy and busy-ness of spring while not losing the discipline of the indoor months.  Trying to be more present with my kids while still keeping some time for myself.  Trying to get extra food to Small Gray while not allowing Big Orange to get any more morbidly obese (he already has the million dollar pancreas, thanks to his health problems…we are NOT paying for kitty gastric bypass surgery.)

I hope you all find balance – find your Yin and Yang in complementary but opposing relationship to each other.  And that none of you are trapped under a massive orange cat.  If you are, let me know…I’ll send help.