“Work. Life. Balance” is one of those cultural lies I believe has been fed into us! I do not need or want “balance” in my life because what I want is satisfaction. I want to be satisfied in my job, my home life, and my personal adventures. I have read many books, attended seminars, and listened to too many webinars on how to achieve work life balance; how to plan and succeed, knowing the boundaries of work, etc., etc., etc. What did I learn? That it’s a façade. There isn’t such a thing.
It’s impossible to say that eight hours a day is my work focus, four hours is for my family, another four hours is just for me, and then eight hours just for sleep. I can tell you that if I have something outstanding or a problem at work, it will chew up my eight work hours and then eat into my four family hours and four personal hours. During all these specific times, I will be constantly interrupted by the thoughts of the work issue and then I will lie awake at night thinking and dreaming (more like nightmares) about the problem. So where is the balance? My brain doesn’t naturally quadrant my thoughts into these time slots. No one told my mind, my feelings, nor my stress level that I had to put things into boxes and only focus on what is slotted.
No, thanks. I am throwing out balance for satisfaction. This is a goal I can work on. Satisfaction isn’t about balancing everything, it’s about deciding to have a good day, it’s about making decisions to wake up and be positive and find the good in what’s tough. At the end of my work day (with some days, weeks, or seasons being longer than others), I want to say “well done, I have done all I can do here”. In my family life, I want my spouse, my kids and my dog to know I work to support them. I enjoy my work and they are the reason why I do what I do. I love and care for them. My personal life is impacted by work and family and the satisfaction I seek is in being the best version of myself every day, regardless of the timeslot. So, to me it is not about work life balance, but satisfaction.