The Great Compromise

The Great Compromise happened in 1787, had to do with representation under the new US Constitution, and although I have an interest in history, is not the central thought of my entry today.  {I hope that wasn’t a run on sentence, yet I believe it was.}  I simply felt it made for a good title and my thoughts today are consumed with the word [compromise]. 

The word compromise seems to represent something positive, a working together, a meeting half way.  Yet when I read some of the following synonyms to compromise, I shudder a bit:

accommodation, accord, arrangement, bargain, concession, copout, happy medium, middle ground, pact, trade-off and sellout  

Copout?  That’s not a pleasant word.  Sellout?  Are some of my compromises sellouts?  I hope not.  Yet where should I draw the line between what I want to do, what I’m expected to do, and what I need to do?  

I often feel like it’s me versus the world.   Not like the world is out to get me.  But that something is always competing for my time.  Often it’s not something negative.  It’s just the normal life stuff:  work, school events, church events, grocery shopping, housecleaning, taking a shower (which, if I stopped doing could save me ample time each week).  Then there’s the stuff I desire to do:  spend more time with family, get to know my neighbors, make handcrafted jewelry, write more blog entries, visit the British Isles (not going to happen this year), etc.  

So I start to ask myself questions like. . . . .

  • How does one balance the desire to be with one’s family with working a full time job?  
  • How does one balance the dream of taking an overseas mission trip with family yet only having a limited amount of allotted time off?  
  • How does one balance working in a field you’re “called” to, yet not receiving a salary that provides for health care?   
  • How does one balance between being called to live in a specific place [which I believe wholeheartedly we are] and not seeing extended family often?
  • How does one balance providing stylish clothing for a 13 year old girl while maintaining a budget and attempting to keep her content?
  • How does one balance her needs with the needs of others she loves?  Do I “sellout” to self or try the compromise route? 
I realize life is made up of choices, yet sometimes I don’t know if choices are always really……. choices.  How often do we do something because we are required to?  It’s part of the plan, part of what has to get accomplished, or at least someone’s perception of what has to get accomplished.  So much time is spent on. . . . nothing substantial.

And I’ve come to realize that the more hours I work outside the home, the more store bought bread I buy.  Hang with me on this.  I like to bake bread, and while Kroger makes a good baguette, I’d much rather bake my own.  And my family likes it when I bake my own.  Which brings me to a compromise.  I now work full time, therefore baking bread is no longer a regular occurrence.  And on certain days, instead of dwelling on how thankful I am for the income I generate, I dwell on the {not so positive} synonyms for compromise, i.e. copout and sellout.  Even the word concession isn’t comforting.  Because I’m not so sure I like the choice I’ve made.  Yet, it’s the inevitable choice when you have two teenagers, one two years from college.  Or is it, if I’m willing to sacrifice buying potato chips (and a heck of a lot of other unnecessary things)?

I suppose this relates back to my previous post, Who I Am. I continue to contemplate if the Shakespeare line, “To thine own self be true” is a positive personal mission statement.  The bible says to pick up your cross daily. . . . to deny yourself.  Yet doesn’t it also describe us as God’s masterpiece?  Does God want us to feel compromised, torn, accommodating yet not content?  Is personal disharmony more spiritually appealing than happiness?  Does that have to be a compromise too?  Maybe I’ve missed something somewhere along the line.  Maybe I’m a rebel who doesn’t want to compromise.  Maybe I’m selfish or unreasonable or unrealistic.  Or maybe I’ve grown tired of concession.  Or maybe (and I mean this) I need to join a punk band featuring middle aged moms.  Besides, I’ve been seriously contemplating getting my nose pierced for my 43rd birthday (which is 8/7).  

Step with care and great tact and remember that 

life’s a great balancing act. ~ Dr. Seuss 

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