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…