Monday, March 28, 2005

Homeostasis

We are all constantly in search of homeostasis, balance, equilibrium. Physiologically, the body consistently strives to keep things in check, running smoothly with little deviation---acid-base balance, electrolyte balance, fluid balance, blood volume. A normal body pH needs to be found in the very slim margin of 7.35-7.45. Potassium balance must be between 3.5 and 5 or all hell can break loose. Sodium is more generous with a normal range of 135-145 mg/dL.

On the psychoemotional side, how do we measure such notions as balance? Manic versus depressive? Joy versus despair? Just think of the language we use for sketchy and potentially emotional situations:

"I'm walking a fine line";
"You're on thin ice";
"He's playing with half a deck";
"She's teetering on the edge";
"I feel like I'm walking a tight-rope";
"I'm on the edge of my seat";
"They were walking on egg-shells";
"I'm juggling too many balls";
"You have so many pokers in the fire";
"It's neither here nor there".

From the look of things, we have plenty of language to describe our imbalances. Are there enough sayings to counter those assertions with balancing terminology? Please enlighten me, dear Reader, and share how you would verbalize balance. Can we create a nomenclature of homeostasis, or does it already exist and I simply cannot see the forest for the trees?
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