For decades Iíve read articles about finding balance in life. From Seventeen to Redbook. From Womenís Day to Family Circle.
Iíve talked about it with friends, with sisters, with bosses. And then finally I met a woman who showed me a new way to look at balance.
Her mother brought her in to a photo shoot I was helping with. We were waiting on her husband, who was just a few minutes out, so we talked a bit to better understand her story Ė to better portray her in pixels.
I know you ride at the stables, I said. To help you with your balance after the car accident, right?
She smiled and nodded.
And I heard that our husband surprised you on Valentineís Day, that he took off work and showed up to watch you ride?
Another nod and a bigger smile.
Well, we thought maybe weíd photograph both of you, I said about the time he walked in.
The biggest smile of all for him.
ďDo you want to sit in the wheelchair or stand for the picture?Ē her mother asked.
So, with Mom on her left and husband on her right, she slowly made her way around the cords and beneath the lights. She turned to face the camera and she stood, leaning on her husbandís shoulder. Then, there were smiles after in-love smiles from both of them.
And in the end, we had a beautiful picture of a rare kind of balance Ė balance that wasnít about squeezing more in or deciding what to let go of. We had a picture of steadiness, of taking the time to walk alongside those we love, of allowing ourselves to lean in order to stand.
In those few minutes, I saw balance not as one person struggling with weights on both outstretched hands but as something that is more about all of us, together.