I love symmetry and balance. It pleases me to have two similar cushions on either side of a central cushion. I like to have pictures straight and in the middle of the spaces they occupy. Matching vases on either side of the mantlepiece make me happy. I like to arrange shelves so that the objects on them are symmetrical.

When it comes to arrangements in my home I can’t help myself from getting everything balanced. But I always get a slightly queasy feeling when people say things like ‘life is all about balance’. I don’t really understand what a balanced life would be, but I imagine it’s something to do with avoiding extremes and something to do with having roughly equal times of work and play. I may be quite wrong in my understanding about balance, but it doesn’t seem like something worth striving for.

Would a balanced approach advocate against strong feelings and for mild middle-of the-road feelings. Or does it mean that if you have a very strong happy feeling, for example, you should strive for a symmetrical very sad feeling. Would that make you balanced?

Or if the balanced life is all about parcelling out time to the many parts that demand attention (work, family, exercise, leisure time, etc) how do you decide what is balanced and what is not? Is eight hours for work, one hour for gym, eight hours for sleep, a few hours for driving, shoppping, cleaning, cooking and a few for family balanced? If I’ve got a big passion on say for gardening and I’m spending a lot of time, money and energy there, is that imbalance ok?

All I know is that I’m not going to be worrying too much about whether my life is balanced or not – I suspect that neither I, nor my life is at all balanced. Maybe that’s why I like creating so much balance and symmetry around me in my home.

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