Staying Balanced with Stanley Chow and Real Simple
Life just keeps getting busier, doesn’t it? It seems like no matter what you do you just can’t catch up. Ingela Ratledge, writer over at Real Simple, realized she was having the exact same experience. But it wasn’t the world’s fault, it was because she kept saying “Yes” when maybe she shouldn’t be. Her piece about this discovery, and what she did to change her behavior, has a wealth of information about how to make this shift, and an illustration by Stanley Chow. The pieces explores a “Martyr Complex,” Stanley explored what that can mean in a visual language, and how traditional ideas of courage and heroism converge with a contemporary life.
Staney’s image that appears alongside the piece on RealSimple.com features a bunned woman on a valiant horse posed like a warrior ready for battle. The woman has hoisted a spatula above her like a sword, while holding a frying pan like a shield in her other hand. Behind her is the shining sun, outlining her pose like a halo. And of course, tucked under her arm is her handbag. The visualization is over the top, and that’s entirely by design. The point is that any woman, any person, can be a warrior if they want to, but they don’t have to. It’s okay to give to and take as much from this world as you want to, but you don’t have to do even the slightest bit more than what you want. The idea that martyrs are “brave, virtuous, and strong,” is great in allegory but not an effective way to live a balanced life.
Stanley includes a second image, one where the horse has bucked the rider off its back, and everything falls apart. It’s a reminder that if we take on too much, and to be more than we can actually handle it won’t turn out well.
Today remember to stay strong, take on what you want, and give yourself permission to live a balanced life – and keep a piece of it for yourself.