I have been thinking a lot about life balance lately. I have come to a conclusion...it's not possible. Don't call me negative! I am a realist. I mean come on...roll the "life balance" movie tape please...
You have a big career where you run things and do really really well; you eat dinner with your family five times a week at 6PM (where of course you make dinner...from scratch). You maintain an active social life where you see friends and are a regular consumer of culture; you read all the latest and greatest books, keep up on pop culture, take four weeks of vacation, have sex with your significant other (OFTEN), sleep eight full cozy hours a night, work out three to five times a week and pay bills/run errands/get laundry done etc. etc. etc.
I mean, come on. And I am an embracer of chaos, but that type of existence seems just out of reach. So I have two new ideas...you CAN have it all, just not all at once. Yes, we might die tomorrow, but let's think positive...assuming you don't, there are different times in your life when you focus on different elements of your life while others go on the backburner. It's about choosing which pot is on which burner. Not easy decisions. But reality - tradeoffs.
Next, I read something recently and darn it cannot remember where (probably Oprah magazine, which I always feel guilty buying but which I ALWAYS enjoy). The article said that while seeking balance, look to presence for your answer. What does this mean? It means be where you are...as much as possible. When at work, focus on work. Leave your kids and family at home. Focus on your job. Be in it. When at home, leave your work at work. Be at the table with your kids. Listen to what they say. Have a conversation with your significant other where you are fully present. Balance through presence.
You may be saying "Not possible! I always multi-task and that is how I get through my day." Well, more and more research suggests that we are way less effective at every task when we multi-task.
I am a big believer in presence, living in the present, being in the now. It's not easy, and I am in no way good at it, but I aspire to it. And I love the idea "Balance Through Presence". So there we go. My soapbox for the day.