The term work/life balance is such an innocuous little phrase. It evokes mental pictures of an all-American mom or dad, thriving in their work while still managing a harmonious household. Many of us envision the balance as the way our separate life channels are supposed to co-exist, but I wonder: is a strict balance truly necessary?
I think instead in terms of life accounts, a concept introduced to me by the authors of Living Forward, Daniel Harkavy and Michael Hyatt. They suggest viewing the different facets of your life as sub-accounts. Just as you may watch your financial accounts to ensure they’re well-rounded (meaning one is not overdrawn whilst the other is in full supply), you can apply the same concept to your life accounts.
We all recognize that some seasons of work are more demanding than others-spring for a CPA, winter for a plow truck driver, and often summer months for mortgage and real estate professionals.
And same with life seasons: toddlers versus late teens, summer months versus school year, and soccer season versus…well, whatever the opposite of soccer is (not being a sports fan!).
Instead of striving for a perfect balance, I think the perfection lies in the natural slight discords that are inevitable. If your child has a dance recital Thursday evening, you naturally should leave the office to be there. And on the flip side, if your children are away for a week of summer camp, extra time on the job during real estate’s peak season is a perfectly acceptable option.
Belittling ourselves about the choices we make in our busy lives serves no one. But relaxing into the solution that there is no solution is empowering.
The balance we should instead strive for is in our thinking, and our commitment to ourselves that although the time spent on each life account may not be minute-for-minute, our love and enthusiasm for each can still shine through.
Guest blogger Sarah Beahan has been a loan processor and executive team member of Michigan Mortgage since 2002. In addition to her work at Michigan Mortgage, she is a certified Life and Weight Loss Coach, and owns her own coaching practice called Weighed Down Coaching.