When I hear the phrase ‘work life balance’, I chuckle and get a mental picture of a teeter-totter. You know, like the ones from our childhood where you and a friend or, possibly a rival, sat on opposing sides of that board balanced on a fulcrum.
When two friends played together, we used our energy to push off and create a joyful flight for our companion, hair flying and falling in the air, and giggles and squeals rippling out into space. We reciprocated to give each other a fun ride, taking turns initiating lift off.
However, if your playground nemesis shanghaied the other end of the totter, they could easily manipulate your experience by keeping you dangling high in the air, and then without warning, maliciously jumping off the teeter totter causing you to plummet fast to bone jarring impact with the ground.
As a woman who raised a family and a business at the same time, my life often felt like a merry-go-round and teeter-totter circus. I juggled children, school, pets, household, staff, career, and growing into my own womanhood and leadership roles day after day.
Frequently, I thought I was failing at this game of a career woman’s life and I was a looser at balancing it all perfectly – all the time.
It took me many years, many tears and many mistakes to finally realize that billboard B.S about work/life balance was just that - B.S. and impossible for anyone to sustain!
Balance implies that everything is on an even plane, no movement, no energy, no give and take. No problems but no progress.
I learned to seek the opposite of balance as validation of a life lived well. Unless something is moving, changing, accelerating, rising, sinking – nothing is happening at all.
As my friend and mentor, Marg Hachey often says, “We do not have a personal life and a professional life. We have one whole life.” Be aware of that at all times, plan your ideal ‘whole life’, set your priorities – starting with yourself as Numero Uno! and enlist the support of others to keep your ass from hitting the ground hard when the weight on the other side shifts suddenly.
I have come to treasure the give and take of all aspects of my life. The secret to contentment with an abundant and sometimes overflowing life is to be the one to choose what priorities are up and which ones are down during each thrust.
In “Who Am I Now – Feminine Wisdom Unmasked Uncensored”, I curated the feminine wisdom of twenty gravity defying, multi-plate spinning, tight rope walking SHEroes who share their ups, down and juggling acts as women who figured out how to thrive on the teeter totter of their lives.
Join us and share your stories of lessons learned on Womanhood Wonderland’s playground.