Balance is overrated. I think.
Of course, this may be due to my laid-back personality. And the fact that I’ve rarely experienced what balance feels like. I always fall short, and the quest is filled with feelings of shame that I can’t figure life out. As if life was about that.
Is it not?
The Work-Life Balance Myth
What is balance anyway ? I picture a weighing scale, where both objects measured are equal in weight. Each is no more nor less than the other. There is no tilting back and forth, no movement. Perfect equilibrium. But to what end?
Because we want to be well-rounded people? Because it’s what successful people do? My guess is because for many of us, balance means control. It means we have a handle on our life. We got everything covered. Social life? Check. Home life? Check. Career? Check. Recreational Activities?Check.
And when one thing ends up weighing more in our scale than everything else in our life, we panic and do everything we can to put things back to “normal.” And so the cycle goes. I don’t know how many of us would admit to actually achieving that balance in our lives, but I have a hunch that there aren’t too many.
Maybe It’s Not About Achieving Balance But Learning To Live With Tension
I don’t know how balance became a standard to live up to. Maybe because we are all too keenly aware of the Great Imbalance in the world. Our propensity towards addictions and obsessions, neurotic determinations of sorts. But what if, instead of striving for the Balance that we will never have in our lives, we instead diverted our energies into learning how to live with the Tension?
The tension in our lives between good and evil? Between being self-centered and other-centered? Between independence and needing people? Between laziness and over-productivity? Between faith and doubt?
Maybe It’s Not About Achieving Balance But Focusing On The Right Thing At The Right Time
Life is about changes. And we dance with the changes. And sometimes, it requires is to be totally off-balance to get with the change. Life is also about passion. And we learn to ride that passion. And sometimes, it requires us to be consumed and positively focused on a few things if not just one. And it’s perfectly okay.
Let’s Get Practical
As a new stay-at-home mom, I am trying my daily best to be all here with my daughter and embrace the domestic life. It’s not always easy. And it’s because I’m often thinking of my dreams and desires of doing the stuff I love that doesn’t involve diapers. Of writing, creating, connecting ideas, and so much more. I sometimes think, gee, my life is so off balance. I’m 90% domestic 9% career and 1% social life. Can I get it down to 50/50? But who wants 50/50? To be honest, I’d rather have 100/100 (who wouldn’t?) but that just isn’t possible. So 90/9/1 it is. For now.
There is a time for everything. My daughter is young. She deserves more than a 50/50 deal of me. I’ll take the 9 remaining parts I have left of working on the stuff I love and be as efficient and strategic and creative as I can make it. One day, the pendulum will begin to swing a little differently and when that happens, I’ll be ready.
So, what do you think about balance? Chime in. It’s probable that I’ve just lost my mind and need to be set back on the right track. I’m all ears.