Recently, everything seems to be about “Balance”.
Yin and Yang. Work-Life Balance. I mean, what the heck is it? Do I need it? Do I want it? Is it possible? Why is it on blogs and all over magazines and tv screens?
If “balance” is like scales where the bad stuff is balanced by good stuff, sweet is in balanced harmony with sour, then of course, we’d all want it; nobody wants it all bad all the time, do they?
The thing is, what if you love what you do for a living? — Then work won’t seem like, well, work, and money would probably not seem all that important (because you’d do it anyway).
So “balance” could be about doing LESS of what you love, and that doesn’t sound very appealing to me.
Working all the time – however much fun – can be bad I suppose – if it is to the detriment of “downtime”, relaxation, sleep, strumming a guitar, playing with the kids, walking the dog, doing exercises and so on. We’re supposed to do these things even if they are not as much fun as work, strange as it may seem.
Thing is, I am not really good at doing a bit of everything all the time, or of allocating events and activities to a timetable. I seem to naturally gravitate toward the binge.
I have always pulled everything together at the very last minute. All my homework, coursework, reports, dissertations, whatever – they were all done at the last possible minute in a mammoth caffeine-fuelled single session. It seems to work for me. Maybe I think of “balance” in terms of the balance the tightrope walker has to have – the single-minded focus, the single session, the obsession of having to do one thing at a time.
And I don’t think I am unique; “balance” seems to be a goal.
Most in my office think of this “balance”, as a “balancing act” – like a juggler does. It seems that people have to juggle childcare, work, hobbies and more, with everything vying for time, money and attention.
This is not balancing your personal work-life stuff, this is about managing externally generated stuff imposed upon you.
I get that. How I have dealt with this in my life is to stick with my nature and binge. I am naturally inclined to give my children quality attention in concentrated spurts than always be around in a vague and half-attentive way. So I work too hard or too long, but then take time off.
I do not know if this is a good idea of a bad one, all I know is it works for me best that way!
(Thanks to Chloe for the inspiration for this)