Work-life balance is a familiar concept like multitasking that we’ve come to generally accept as gospel. However, much like multitasking, work-life balance is a myth.
(RE: Multitasking myth — Don’t believe me? Here ya go. More on that another day.)
Anyway, the reason why the truth about work-life balance flies in the face of conventional wisdom centers around the idea of balance.
The term “balance” indicates an equal measure of two values (weights, items, etc). While these values may not be opposing forces, they cannot occupy the same space either. Any fluctuation in their attributes will tip the scales and create an “imbalance”.
So work-life balance is a bunch of bologna because you can’t have an equal measure of work and life in terms of any resource available to you (time, money, energy, etc).
Because you’d work way too much!
Look, you get 24 hours in a day. Trying to categorize what falls into the work and life categories would be laborious to begin with. And odds are if you work a typical 8-10 hour day your starting off with an imbalance in the first place.
As well you should!
This is why I don’t recommend work-life “balance”. A friend introduced me to the idea of work-life “rhythm” instead and it’s so much better.
Rhythm is all about the relationship of notes to each other. The timing and placement of the downbeat. Instruments and voices working in harmony to create a work of art.
Which brings us back to the question:
What kind of song is your schedule singing?
American Idol Blooper Reel
Lately, the music my schedule makes is off key at best. It’s actually more like the comically bad contestants on American Idol that get cut and still believe they’re amazing because their mommy said so.
Earlier this week I talked about asking Leanne if she was happy. After discovering she wasn’t and why, I took action to fix the problem. As a good husband should do. But something was still “off”. The harmony of our home was out of sync and I knew it was my fault.
Once the chores were done something was still bothering Leanne so I said four of the scariest words in any relationship, “We need to talk”.
Duh. Duh. Dum.
To make this long story short, Leanne missed me. I’m working too long at the office and spending too much time working on the computer at home.
Truthfully, I miss me too. Or rather, I miss what it used to feel like to be me. The calendar is too crowded and the margins are so crammed there is no room for error. Like a hamster running on a spinning wheel while juggling and reciting the Gettysburg address.
There’s still just as much stuff on the to-do list, we’ve got family activities, multiple jobs, and such. But last Saturday morning I stopped the crazy train, got off, and held Leanne close.
It’s a noble thing to chase a dream and provide for the family. Just remember to stop and look around to make sure you’re not alone on the path with no one alongside you.