Balance. If there were ever a word to describe my attempt at life in this very moment, it would be the word “Balance”. That makes me sound incredibly busy. As if I’m some hard working family guy that juggles work life with marriage and kids. But I am not, or at least I am not in the traditional sense. I’m not an important member of my organization; I am merely Peter, the just-above-entry-level clerk who works really hard at his job, some days harder than others. I am not a father, although one day I’d like to be. Truth be told, I am not many things.
But, I am husband to Renee, and have been for over seven years. I volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and have mentored since the fall of 2010. I volunteer with the elementary aged children at my church. I try to be a good husband. I try to be a good friend. I love to be in large crowds, but I need to be alone. I love running with my iPod’s volume turned all the way up, I love shutting out the world to write in complete silence. There are many parts that make me feel like me, and they are all as equally important.
My perfect day would begin very early, long before Renee wakes. This is not because I am a morning person, that would be the furthest thing from the truth. There is just so dang much that I want to accomplish, an early start just means I have a better shot at acheiving my goals. On a perfect day, I get in an hour’s worth of writing and a three mile run, all before clocking in at work at 8:00 A.M. On a perfect day, I manage my diet by ignoring the Big Mac next door, which I swear has me on speed dial, to instead eat the snacks and lunch that I packed the night before. On a perfect day, I leave work at 5:00 P.M. and return home to my wife. We eat dinner. We watch our favorite show. We laugh at our cat’s latest ninja-pose. We enjoy our life.
On a perfect day, I would study, really hard, because I want to go to college next year, and I have the math skills of a 3rd grader. On a perfect day, I would write for an hour or two, or three. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I may wake up with a line or two, and so I jot them down in my notes app on my iPhone. On a perfect day, I would do these things, because it’s so easy to believe that by not acheiving my goals I am still very much the child my parents raised – something I do not want to be.
These days have been less than perfect. A busy season at work demands all of my morning and the majority of my evening. Just this morning I stepped outdoors to let my dog into the backyard and it occured to me that, with the exception of coming or going to my car, I haven’t set foot outdoors since July 4th. Not once this week have I been on a run. I definitely haven’t studied. I haven’t had much time to formulate a clear thought, much less write it down. And if I’m really trying to be a good husband, I refuse to substitute time with my wife in order to do any of those things. If we don’t have the time to laugh, or discuss the latest episode in our Netflix queue of Prison Break or Private Practice, then nothing else matters. She matters, because she is my world. And I am her world – and that is a tremendous responsibility – one that I try not to take lightly.
These days may seem less than perfect, and while I may look forward to a less busier time at work, I know that good things follow when I make the most out of what is given to me. And so, for now, I try to adapt my ideals and tell myself that nothing – perfect or imperfect – lasts forever.
Peter Combs is a 28 year old husband, writer and former foster child. He currently lives with his wife, Renee, in Atlanta, Georgia. Peter is the author of the blog Home.