The Polyamorous Misanthrope
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The Polyamorous Misanthrope
Welcome to the The Polyamorous Misanthrope, in which myself, the Goddess of Java, or some guest columnist will rant, rave and otherwise edify on some poly subject. If you have an idea for a column or a rant on spike, contact me and we'll talk it over. For past articles, check out the Archive .
"Don't do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your ass off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts."
-- Henry Rollins
Moderation is not and never has been my best friend. I like it hot or cold. Lukewarm? Forget it. When I get into something, I charge in, sword waving, chewing on my shield, face painted blue and screaming, eating brainsÖ <blush> Well figuratively speaking, anyway.
There is this little thing called balance, however. What about balance?
Balance is not about doing something half-heartedly. Itís not about moderation, either. It really is about doing something with your whole heart and soul. If youíve ever been a surfer, gymnast, martial artist, or dancer you know that. If you donít focus on what youíre doing with all your heart and soul, you lose your balance and you fall. You fall hard.
While the need for balance is hardly a poly specific issue, the simple fact of the matter is that as you complicate relationships, balance becomes more and more necessary.
ďSo what is balance and how do I get it?Ē I hear you plead with a puppy-like whine in your voice.
Balance is simply a matter of being effective in what you do. Life is going to throw you a variety of experience, after all ≠ especially if you are poly! To attain true balance in your life, you all really do need to focus and do what youíre doing with a whole heart. When youíre at work, youíre focused on your work. When youíre at home and with your loves, youíre not thinking about work, youíre focused on your loves. When youíre playing with your kids, youíre not thinking about the bills. When youíre doing the bills, youíre not thinking about that hot date last weekend.
This takes a lot of practice. In our society, we tend to admire multitasking. While thereís genuinely nothing wrong with analyzing a problem while doing the dishes, or any other routine task, relationships are not routine tasks by any stretch of the imagination. They require focus. They require you to pay attention when youíre interacting.
What they donít require is your full attention and focus when youíre not interacting or planning. When youíre with your husband, donít be focused on your boyfriend, and vice versa. Itís a sure way to throw a monkey wrench in both relationships, and itís no way to be balanced in how you interact with your loves.
Thatís where the balance comes in ≠ not leaning left when you need to lean right, making all those little adjustments and shifts of focus as you go through your life.
Balance is NOT spending an exactly equal amount of times with each of your loves. (God forbid. Iíve been involved with extroverts from time to time. If they tried to spend as much time with me as they did with each other, Iíd freak). It is about the focus required to find out what their needs are, and the focus required of you to find out what needs you want to meet. Itís about knowing your own needs and finding out ways to meet them.
Itís about being a whole person. Notice Iíve mentioned several non-relationship issues here in this column. While yes, Iím poly, I have a job, I have kids, and I have non-relationship-centered interests and passions. Itís important to focus on them wholeheartedly when I schedule time to pursue them, just as it is with relationships.
But no, you donít have to be a moderate person to have balance.
In fact, Iím out of woad and need to go make up some more blue paint.
Toodles for a couple of weeks!
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