Life’s Delicate Balancing Act

Life’s Delicate Balancing Act
A Lump in the Road column “Watch, Mom,” Lauren quipped when we wandered through a tent at the fair. She hopped on a crazy contraption, a simple machine designed to test balance. Beneath her tennis shoes, a wooden platform wobbled, and flickering lights blinked overhead. She struggled, shifting her weight from one foot to the next, trying to achieve perfect balance. For a fleeting second, when she managed to hit it just right, the contraption lit up, a neon victory lap everyone in the tent could see. It looked easy. “Let me try,” I said, giving her a shove. I climbed on, the unsteady panel aquiver under my feet. Focus! I told myself. But the neon wouldn’t light for me. I shifted, stilled myself, shifted again. Finally, I got a twinkle, a tiny blast of neon light, elusive but satisfying. Achieving equilibrium looks easier than it is. That day at the fair, I was trying hard to apply balance, not just on that nutty contraption, but in my life. I feel like I’ve been a little off because next week I have a cancer check-up. It’s my six-month meeting with my parole board to see if my deadly disease is back, or if I get another reprieve. These appointments are hard to put out of my head, and at times, it can be a struggle to stay in the present moment, to enjoy the gift of now. And what a loss it is. On that particular afternoon, my daughter sang in a talent contest and did an amazing job. My husband treated us to a cinnamon roll easily as big as my head, the kind
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