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Balloons: Holding firm and letting go.

Hey All.  Its been a long while since I have posted.  I have missed writing a great deal but since October I have had a lot on my hands.

When I woke this morning I had the image of a bunch of balloons in my head.  An odd thing to be thinking of when you wake up for sure.  Taking my littlest one in hand.  And then releasing the boy from his self inflicted prison of a crib, a prison he is fully capable of entering and escaping on his own.  I descended to the living room to feed and entertain my charges, leaving mom to catch up on some much needed sleep.   While descending the stairs the image of balloons returned, this time with some balloons escaping my grasp with each step down I took.

Parents aren’t given an awful lot of time to ponder anything in the first years of Parenthood.  Our children are our only prevailing responsibility.  Everything needs to be done secondary to our children’s needs and they need everything.  I don’t think you can truly say you are an adult until you try to raise a child.

With all this running through my mind, finding “one Thomas!” on the TV, and soothing the baby I was still pondering the balloons.  It occurred to me that the balloons were bright in color and seemed to radiate in the sun.  They were all different shapes and sizes.  But they are fragile. You need to be careful with them.  They are filled with gas causing them to rise and lift you up.  But if there are too many and you aren’t careful you will lose contact with the ground.

And thats when I got it.  The balloons are the contacts, relationships, commitments, friendships, responsibilities, goals, and aspirations in my life. They are everything I have done and hope to do.  Things I want to maintain and build.  Each one represents a little portion of my life.  Full of the elation to lift me up.  Bright, shiny and colorful.  But each with its own tiny string attached.  A little umbilicus tying me to it.  I’ve gripped so tightly to those strings over the past year that they are starting to separate me from the ground.  If I continue to go up too high, that ground won’t be solid enough to withstand me crashing back into it when I finally let go.  So the only thing left to do is loosen my grip on a few balloons.

I can’t just let go because those balloons represent everything, or nothing.  Some balloons are small but combined with 1 million other small balloons take up a lot of space and create terrible lift.  Some balloons are very large and will always provide the lift I need. The large cumbersome ones need to be held on to tight enough to be secure but not so tight that they would pop.

So where does this leave me and why did I blog this.  Well its really all right there.  I haven’t posted on fb for a while.  Haven’t been doing many of the training sessions that are going around like VD.  Haven’t been at many race’s and worst of all, on the personal level, I haven’t been training.  Its all about the balloons you see.

I went around this last year collecting balloons and making a nice big bunch.  All sorts of colors and shapes.  I attached a weight of worth to them.  Mostly that worth was attached to a medal or tee-shirt of some sort.  Some were weighted just by a day or an event.  The value I was assigning some balloons was not as much as I should have been assigning others.  The bigger and not so colorful balloons.  Balloons that were hugely inflated, more thin skinned, and required much more care than the smaller half filled balloons.

Obviously this problem has been wondering through my mind longer than today.  Longer than a single image of a bunch of balloons.  I suppose in the last 2 months or so I have subconsciously been doing exactly what I have been needing to do without an imagery concept.  I needed a metaphor, balloons and strings finally popped into my head and I finally knew what had to be done or more astutely what I was doing.  I had started to loosen my grip on smaller, brighter balloons.  I have seen friends give huge flowery  goodbyes on social networks.  Send cards, emails and texts of how they just need to escape and focus on the “important things”.  I didn’t do all that.  I just loosened my grip.  As much as I love following the trials and tribulations, highs and lows of so many people, love to give encouragement and inspiration, and most of all be part of a team which does that; I needed to and need to let a few balloons go.

It hurts a little to do this.  But my reality, my ground, needs a lot more from me than all my little balloons.  Nothing bad will happen to my balloons if I let a few go here and there.  They will just end up in someone else’s sky. They might become larger and more important.  They might even become attached to a child of their own.  And learn, like I have, that they too have balloons to let slip away.  There will always be a string attached to my balloons.  And if necessary and if time allows maybe I can go find some new shiny balloons or go looking for some that I have let go.  For a wonderful time however I enjoyed holding on to all the balloons I could.  But now I just need to hold on to a few precious few, and maybe borrow an old or new one  from time to time

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