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Balance, it's not an act

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. John Glassell
  • 6th Maintenance Group vice commander
It is said that life is a balancing act. This is true, except that it is not an act.

Every day each person strives for balance in their life. Be it at work, when daily the flightline production supervisor tries to balance the flying schedule with scheduled maintenance, at home when a new Airman tries to balance their checkbook for the first time, or when someone is deciding whether to stay in or leave the Air Force. Everything needs to be balanced.

Ask any experienced aircraft mechanic and they will tell you that aircraft have a balance for flying. Fly an aircraft too much and it continually breaks. Fly it too little and it has trouble getting into the air. But find the right combination of flying and maintenance, and the aircraft flies for a long time with few issues. Since every aircraft is different, the problem is finding the right balance.

Your checkbook is the same way. Spend too much money and while you may enjoy life, your debt is out of balance with your income. Spend too little and while you might have a healthy bank account, you may not have a healthy life. There is a balance to spending and saving that each person has to find.

Single or married, people are the same way. Each one of us has a balance to our life. Daily each of us balances the needs of work with the needs of the family. Spend too much time with the family and you may not have a job. Conversely, spend too much time at work and you may not have a family. As the old saying goes, you never hear someone on their deathbed say, "I wish I had spent more time at work." Life has to be in balance.

So what happens when you lose your balance? The Air Force continually works to solve that very problem. If you fly an aircraft too much the Air Force allows units reconstitution time to get the fleet healthy and in balance again. If your checkbook gets out of balance, the Air Force has financial management classes you can take to get your finances back in balance. Finally when your work and family life gets out of balance, the Air Force has numerous resiliency programs to assist in getting things back in balance. Whether it is the Chaplain's Office, the Airman and Family Readiness Center, Morale Welfare & Recreation activities or Mental Health services, the Air Force has a variety of programs to help you.

Like a tightrope walker, lean too far in any direction and you fall. Fortunately, the Air Force provides a number of "safety nets." You only have to use them.

The key is for each person to find their balance in life and remember that life is not a dress rehearsal.