Monthly Archives: February 2014

Getting Clear on the Stuff

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Hello World!48px-Gnome-edit-clear

Finding clarity in an ever-changing world is not always easy. There is a constant array of shiny new things to distract us. Our wardrobes bulge with more clothes than we need and things fall out of kitchen cupboards because we have too many gadgets. We often don’t get to do what we really want because we are caught up in less important things. We are overloaded with options about what we do, where we live and what we wear. It really comes down to the fact that we have too much stuff.

I have gone from living in a largish house to a small apartment and I have to say it has been a somewhat liberating experience. A little challenging, but definitely freeing. I can no longer buy new clothes just because something looks pretty as chances are something else will have to get turfed in order to make room for the new item. I tend to make do with less because to add something new means having to work out where to fit it. It has been a pleasant surprise to learn what I can quite happily live without. Having said this, there are some areas still to be ‘cleansed’. The fact that my shoes take up more room than all of the food and cooking items I have in my apartment says I am still a work in progress (although those who know me would agree that given my cooking ability I am probably better off with the shoes…).

Who we choose to spend our time with can do with a clear out every now and then. I once heard it referred to as a ‘friend audit’. Just like a financial audit, you want to sort out the good and bad investments. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in hanging out with the so-called right people and those who just seemed to have attached to you somewhere along the way, when really the time spent with them just leaves you feeling empty or annoyed. Time is precious and should be spent with those who really mean something to you and who’s company you genuinely enjoy. Of course there are exceptions where you have to tolerate and be polite to those you would rather not, but when you do have the choice it’s important to make sure the people in your life are who you really want to have around.

Finding clarity in where we really want and need to be in our careers can take time. For many of us, trying things out is often the only way to find out what you like and what you don’t. I believe an unrealistic amount of pressure is placed on our children to choose their correct path while they are still at high school. At this age only a few really know what they want to do. Most will amble along on the path that is expected of them, often finding years into a degree or career they are doing what they are for other peoples reasons, not their own, and as a result are really unhappy. We need to take action and move away from unsatisfying careers so we can open ourselves up to great new opportunities. 

Getting to know and trust yourself is really the only way you can find clarity in your life. This usually takes time and experience. Don’t be afraid to try new things and, equally, don’t be afraid to walk away from something or someone because it is not right. Keep the way clear for good things to come into your life.

Til next time…

Jo

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The Myth Called Balance

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400px-Unbalanced_scalesHello World!

What is this work / life balance myth people speak of? The media love talking about it, job ads try and entice us to work with companies who promise it, but do any of us really believe it? I tend to think this notion of being able to manage everything equally at one time is a bit ridiculous. I am not sure that it’s possible to be doing a fantastic job at work and at home, while keeping in peak health and attending to all family and other obligations all at the same time. If you are able to do this, either you are exceptional or a visit to a ‘centre’ may be not too far away! As more than one wise woman has said, you can have it all, just not at the same time. I agree. 

Often perpetuating the balance myth are the token panels of women on the morning television news shows discussing “serious issues” affecting others, all the while looking and sounding like their lives are perfect . They carry on as if they have reached this utopia of the perfectly balanced life and now know everything about everything (bad me is secretly thinking their husband is probably sharing the goods with the secretary or something – nobody’s life is that perfect!). It’s more than a little patronising to all of us, including them. Striving for and thinking you have achieved perfection can leave you more unbalanced than ever.

Then there is the question, is my version of a balanced life going to be the same as someone else’s? I don’t think so. Sometimes I feel like just knowing I will be getting up in the morning and going to bed at night is about as much balance as I am going to get! Some days will be all work, others will be all family, and the occasional one might be all about me.

I want to strive for a full life so if the balance is out of kilter does it really matter if I am living life the way I want? If you are happy doing what you are doing, when you are doing it, surely that would be considered balance. Does it matter if its a lot of work and not much play, or the other way around if you can manage it? If your focus is on doing what feels right for you, that may be as close as you are going to get to your own sense of balance. And who cares if you get a bit lopsided in the process!

Til next time…

Jo