I don’t think life/work balance exists. I offer two reasons from personal experience.
One: For sixteen years, I tried to make a particular job work. I had three goes at doing this in this time but, if I’m honest, failed each time. It’s now almost eight years since I left this behind. In moments of weakness I sometimes miss being at the centre of everything, of knowing everything that’s happening and often having a final say in things – but I quickly get over it. It’s all been replaced by pursuing the work* my life has been whispering to me about for such a long time.
Two: What we often mean by life/work balance is, the job we get paid for is put in this box, leisure time in that box, and so on … and then we patrol the borders. But I love my work and I struggle to contain it within this box or that box: it’s simply life – ideas and energies and excitement come to me in different places and at unexpected moments and I need to respond to these (I do admit, I still have a lot of honing of this to do).
“Two” won’t make sense if you haven’t got “One” sorted out, but when you do you can begin what Mitch Joel calls “blending,” mixing up work and leisure and dreaming and resting and running and (well, fill in the rest).
Life has a rhythm, or rhythms, to it, more like a piece of music with fast and slow and rests and crescendos and whispers.
(*A definition might be helpful at this point. By my job, I mean what I get paid for, a specific role. By my work, I mean the art of creativity I produce (I think in terms of there being four major ways: creative thinking, creative relationships, creative influencing, creative actioning). We may or may not be paid for our work, but it is the stuff we MUST do.)
One thought on “the myth of life/work balance”
Felling this one, again. Wld be interested to hear your thoughts on how to get to Z from A. I’m around… P…? and I suspect that, as well as an act of will, there’s a bunch of luck and situational stuff involved, too. For me, at least.
Speaking of, I’m seeing if I can drum up some interest in a short, informal, one-off blogging project. I know you’d have a lot to add if it might be of interest. If you could send me your email address, I can pass along the deets…?