Updated: Feb 3
You will often hear others talk about work / life balance - Not Me!
The term work life balance to me suggests that the two have equal footing, that we need to find a balance (balance suggesting equal weight) between work and life
Now, I am one of the very fortunate people that has managed to stumble upon a career I totally love. I really do. And there are times when, because I love the work I do so much, work does become life.
In the past, on meeting for the first time, if you asked about me, I would have told you about my work long before I remembered to mention my children, husband, wider family, friends other hobbies etc.
And that's all well and good for short periods of time. AND when you are choosing to make that choice and that extra investment. But as I've got a *little older, and perhaps linked to my serious illness in 2016, I've realised that there really is more to life. And if we're not careful, we'll be so busy changing the world for others, we'll forget to carve a bit for ourselves. When I wasn't sure whether my treatment would work, I never cried at the prospect of never writing another board report, or never submitting another grant application, or never writing another wellbeing-based social post, I cried at the possibility of not seeing my girls grow up, of not growing old (dis)gracefully with Andy.
And I don't mind admitting that was a fairly stark wake-up call, especially as I tried to run back into work a couple of months later
The three fairly innocuous-looking pie charts offer yet more evidence as to why we need to reframe the work-life balance
The one on the left shows a "normal" weekday of (for the ease on my maths skills) 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of work and 8 hours of "life). Even in this example, work does balance equally with life
The one in the middle shows that same concept translated over a "normal" week of 5 working days and 2 non-working days. You will see that the portion allocated to work has now become less than 1/3rd
And the one on the right shows the further translation over a "normal" year of 47 working weeks and 5 weeks of leave
I do not seek a work/life balance. I seek a balanced life of which work is a significant part, but not one which deserves equal "footing" as all else.
What kind of balance do you seek?