Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the elusive life-work balance.
I am sure this is not a surprise to anyone who regularly reads my blog, but I am highly goal oriented. Love, love, love to set and achieve goals. I have always been like this and probably always will be. Being so Type A is a blessing and a curse. A blessing in the sense that I can get shhh done, if you know what I mean. A curse in that I can get way too wrapped up in the details or feel like a failure if I’m not checking items off a To Do list.
Having a baby causes you to redefine your entire existence. I knew this would happen but couldn’t really appreciate the depth or extent of the change until it happened to me. For so long, my entire world revolved around, well, myself and my own desires. That is rather convenient, especially when it comes to goal achievement. Now, there is another person in that mix that depends on me. Henry’s desires are faaaar more important than mine. But that doesn’t mean my desires have entirely disappeared. I am still the same me in so many ways.
More and more, I have noticed myself thinking, “Damn, there are just not enough hours in the day!” And it’s so true. There are so many things that I need and want to do, and more often than not, by the time 8 PM rolls around, I’ve only tackled half of the needs and none of the wants. At first, I thought this was a byproduct of the newborn stage, but now I realize that this is just parenthood (and I accept this reality – a small price to pay!). But again – I am still the same me. I want to find time to… well, certainly not ‘do it all,’ but to do life better… more balanced.
Here are some questions that have been bouncing around my mind lately:
What does it really mean to have a life-work balance? (Actually, I should call it a life-work-family-fitness-sleep balance.)
How do I define myself? How do my actions support those definitions?
Which of my personal goals matters the most? If I have to choose between running and writing in my one spare half hour, which should I pick? Should I swap them every other day or devote myself more fully to one goal?
How the hell do I set achievable goals in this new version of my life? What does achievement consist of? If I can’t meet my old work/fitness standards because of greater responsibilities at home, how can I redefine them so I feel successful?
What can I put off until the future? What projects should I really tackle right now?
What makes me the happiest? When do the ends justify the means in terms of time and effort spent?
When should I push through feeling unbalanced in my life-work to hit goals?
What kind of balance am I seeking, anyway? Is a life-work balance one in which you spend equal energy on both? What happens when your work feels like part of your life and vice versa?
Are there negative forces and people in my life that can be handled in a healthier way?
How has my concept of balance evolved as I have grown as a person? Can I use past lessons to figure out the best solution to my current conundrums?
No grand conclusions here, but I would LOVE for your thoughts on your evolving journey to achieve balance. I really believe that ‘having it all’ is a falsehood, and it’s more about shaping our lives to maximize our own happiness. But that is easier said than done!
I feel like I have a great balance right now of work, “me time” (aka exercise), time alone with my husband, and time with our families/friends. Throwing a baby into the mix would make it a thousand times more complicated, so check back with me in a year or two. 😉