The Lies We Tell Ourselves (and others) About Balance

None of us take the time that we need to find that balance that we are always talk about. I am sure that many of us would be hard pressed to name a person that we feel has that balance. Further, if we could, then I am almost positive that if we asked that person directly, they would say they are trying to find more balance themselves.

Most of us out there are just trying to keep all the balls juggled and stay as happy as possible a long the way. Like anything, however, balance is something that ebbs and flows with time, projects, and all of life’s wonderful adventures. Most of the time the scale of work life balance is tipped in work’s favor, at least in my experience it is. That’s ok, we all have to grind, but I want to give everyone a reminder of why it is important to tip the scales in favor of life every once and a while.

Take more time than you think you will need for life. Seriously, if you are in a position that allows you to take paid time off, then you should take advantage. Even if you cannot afford a luxurious trip, there are still many ways to recharge at home. Simply taking a week or two away from work can make all of the difference in the world to tipping the scales in life’s favor, for once.

Life will not wait. Seriously, work will always be there, but life will pass you by if you are not careful to take some time back for yourself. If you know you have a big moment coming up in your life, take the time to celebrate you or others around you, or just be with your family during an important time. My wife and I are getting a new puppy in a few weeks. I will be working from home as Wesley (yep, he’s named Wesley) gets acquainted with life with me, my wife, and our other pup, Otis. I am very much looking forward to this week with all of us together. I am extremely lucky that I have a role that allows me to do this. Again, if you have the same situation (paid time off) do not hesitate.

For those who are reading this saying, but I do not have paid time off, I empathize, I do. Unfortunately we life in a country that does not seem to believe that PTO for everyone is a basic human right (it is). I do have faith this will change…someday. But, we digress… A little over ten years ago I was still a barista in a coffee shop (a time I greatly value) grinding away both literally and figuratively. I was living hand to mouth, and barely making it. The thing was I knew my time would come if I worked hard enough and took advantage of some luck and a lot of help from others. Hang in there, I have faith that if you grind too, you will be in a similar situation.

True balance does not exist in my opinion. To me, life and work are more like a clock’s pendulum, though sometimes the pendulum gets stuck too much on the work side of things. We must, as individuals, take control of the life work pendulum and force the darn thing to sway in the direction of life everyone once and a while. Life is what gives us the power to stand up to the grind and carry on.

Author: Ted Henry Curtis

Support Delivery Manager. Passion for process improvement, standardization, and simplification.

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