Balancing Acts Are for Clowns by Ursula McLoughlin

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‘Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess’. Oscar Wilde

Balancing is for circus acts or weighing scales and thanks to my genes, I’m barely capable of bringing two cups of tea into a room without a few little spills…on the carpet…which now needs to be wiped…which only seems to make it worse…okay, I’ll just move the coffee table a little more to the left to hide that. Problem solved! Or at least, problem hidden until I find it again three months later while panic-vacuuming before guests arrive. Note: (for affect, insert overly dramatic B-movie horror shriek here).

That pretty much describes my approach to all things. If I can’t be the Titan goddess Themis, stone cold and glowering all disapprovingly at us mortals, while dangling her impressive scales in the breeze, then surely I’m entitled to be…well, human?

As a human, I can be pretty sure that I’ll f__k things up from time to time. I’ll run out of money to pay bills, I’ll arrive late and blame traffic, chatty neighbour or some carnivorous zoo animal who may (or may not) have run out in front of me on the motorway. I’ll drink too much and tell everyone how I would do jail time for them and roar like a flea-bitten bull on a hot summers day at that driver who can’t find the strength in their ankle to accelerate beyond 20kph. That happens, a lot. In fact, if there was a special skill of swinging between polar opposites of a situation, while totally avoiding the balanced sweet spot, then I could be all Ireland champion.

So what? Is that a bad thing? Am I spiritually goosed now? Nah. Balance is wonderful and we all get that sparkly ping in our smile when things flow smoothly, but too much of it and those nice shiny teeth would start gnawing at the leg of a table. It’s boring basically. As the phrase goes, ‘No great story ever began while eating a salad’. I’m happy to be a little off-centre and prone to extremes. It adds a bit of ‘Oooo’ to my life. So, while I appreciate the art of balance, I always prefer to enjoy moderation…well, in moderation.

© The Couch Productions