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We’re always hearing so much about finding balance in our lives; creating the balance between work and life.
It seems we’re always chasing after a more balanced life and feeling frustrated because, no matter what we do, it seems to escape us. Try as we might, a balanced life never seems to come our way.
But we continue to search for it like it’s a lost treasure.
We’re always running from one thing to the next, falling behind on our to-do list, and never quite feeling caught up. Trying to perfectly schedule family time in between or after work time. Constantly squeezing just one more thing into our calendar. And we’re not alone.
IS THERE SUCH A THING AS LIFE BALANCE?
Have you ever noticed that almost everyone around you is doing the same thing?
Searching for life balance and never quite finding it?
Everyone is constantly complaining about how busy they are, yet they’re always adding something else to their to-do list. One more errand, one more phone call, one more meeting. Then complaining that they can never seem to find balance. There’s never enough time in the day.
What does “life balance” even mean?
Is it spending exactly 40 hours a week working then shutting it off as soon as you leave the office at 5 PM and immediately switching your brain to thoughts of your personal life? What if there’s a work emergency? Or what if you work for yourself? Are you supposed to completely block out thoughts of your business on your weekends?
How does that even work?
The answer is, it doesn’t. And trying to achieve it usually leaves you feeling exhausted.
And trying to achieve it usually leaves you feeling exhausted.
The idea of life balance is a fleeting thought. There is no such thing as finding the perfect life balance. And the answer to “what does life balance mean?” is different for everyone who answers that question.
For some that feel they spend too much time working, it may mean finding more time with their family or traveling more. For others, it may mean more time
For others, it may mean more time to work because they’re just starting a business or have a big project they need to manage.
And for others still, it may mean more personal self-care time to relax, unwind and do something good for themselves. It may even mean finding time to enjoy a healthier lifestyle like working out more or eating better.
There’s so much that we want to do and everything seems to need our attention, how do we ever find the perfect life balance? How do we ever get it all to work together to create the perfect blend for our lives?
Instead of finding the perfect balance, I’d like to suggest another idea.
Do what feels right. Balance doesn’t actually exist, but doing what feels right is much easier to come by. Decide to create your own definition of balance and change your definition as need be. Don’t follow anyone else’s rules about what balance should be.
LIFE BALANCE IS WHAT YOU DECIDE IT TO BE
Instead of reading everyone else’s rules of what balance should be and trying to make it work for you, decide for yourself what life balance means.
Does it mean only working four days a week and enjoying a three-day weekend while still checking emails and returning a call or two?
Is it one yoga class a week or daily visits to the gym? Does it include meditation and healthy choices for every meal?
Or does it look more like enjoying a guilt-free day and eating whatever you want? Is it a regular family night or finding quality time together whenever it works out?
Your idea of life balance doesn’t have to include a regular schedule either.
It may mean one thing to you on Tuesday and a completely different thing on Thursday. That’s okay. Each day you can decide what balance means to you on that day.
Ultimately, the decision is yours as to how to fit all the pieces of your life together. And once you do, let go of any guilt you have over what someone else thinks your life should look like.
PERFECT LIFE BALANCE CAN NEVER EXIST
Life is just too busy and too messy.
Trying to achieve perfect life balance forces you to try and control too many things that are out of your control. You can’t control when your child will get sick and need to be picked up from school. You can’t control when the car breaks down and you can’t get where you need to go.
The unexpected is always popping up and saying “Surprise! Here I am!” at the most inconvenient times. That’s the reality of life. Trying to control what you can’t is fighting a losing battle.
And, come on let’s be serious here. Isn’t the sheer act of trying to control everything in your life to create that elusive life balance the exact opposite of the life balance you’re trying to create?
Life is like the ocean with an ebb and a flow. You have to learn to go with it or you’ll find yourself drowning like the swimmer who tries to go against the current.
Just accept and redefine what life balance means for you at that moment.
LET GO OF WORK LIFE BALANCE AND INTEGRATE INSTEAD
Your work, your passion, should be part of your life not separate from your life.
Instead of drawing a line in the sand and separating the two, allow them to just be in your life as they happen.
If you need to work on a weekend to get a big project done and take off in the middle of the week, then do it. Don’t feel guilty about working too much or playing too much. Just allow the two to be part of your life and make decisions each day about what your priorities are for that day. Allow them to
Just allow the two to be part of your life and make decisions each day about what your priorities are for that day. Allow them to coexist and blend in a way that works for you.
By doing so you’ll end up happier and the feelings associated with “life balance” will follow.
Let go of society’s idea of life balance and do what feels right for you.
Stop feeling guilty about not achieving anyone else’s idea of a balanced life. They are not living your life and their priorities are not yours. There is no mold for a balanced life, regardless of what other’s may say. Be yourself and follow your dreams by setting your own priorities for your own life.
Instead of fruitlessly searching for perfect life balance, strive to find a rhythm, an equilibrium, that works for you. Live your life with purpose instead of balance. When you do, everything else will fall into place.