Good one. Did I have you going for a second at least?
Instead, I want to muse about the teeter-totter that is my "work-life" balance. Namely, that it seems I can only balance one thing at a time. And that doesn't sound very balance-y, does it?
For example, an interesting thing about my business (therapy) is that it's very seasonal. Did you know that? You would think that my office would be flooded with phone calls around the holidays, what, with all that 'quality family time'? But in fact, most people are just trying to survive the holidays. They don't have time to examine their mental health!
January, is another story. The relatives go home, the kids go back to school, the tinsel is vacuumed off the carpet and WHAM! now there's finally time to realize and devote energy to your mental state.
So this means, at the times when I'm most busy personally (like Christmas) I am least busy professionally. And vice versa.
Doesn't it seem like this should lead to fabulous work-life balance in which my teeth are always white and my clothes always match? I keep waiting.
What it means in reality is that my work pace slows *just* enough to let me catch up on that never ending to-do list. Meanwhile, as soon as I leave the office I walk into a wrapping-paper war-zone full of parties, and presents and ... well, you know the drill.
January comes, life settles, and I start to think I'm kind of a 'together' person. (I like to savor those moments when they happen.)
Then I walk into my work day with lots of clients I can't wait to see... and a desk piled full of paper that I neglect in the meantime. Tax forms, insurance billing, malpractice insurance... oh my! Running a business at its finest.
|Imagine this times a billion... that is my wrapping paper 'organizer'.|
Well partly I just wanted a moment to whine in text (it is so therapeutic!) But also, I wanted to say these very controversial words: I don't believe there is such a thing as a perfect work-life balance. There, I said it.
*Ducking as gurus and shrink-types are likely throwing things at me*
I'll even go one further: The illusion that there is some perfect balance to achieve causes more suffering (I believe) than the imbalance itself. We make ourselves crazy trying to 'have it all' and keep our teeth white... meanwhile we're chasing an illusion.
For me, the work-life balance occurs in the moments between the teeter-totter. You know, the moments where the teeter-totter is temporarily balanced because it is tipping the other direction? That millisecond? That's what I'm talking about.
The trick (I think) is to live in the imbalance. To embrace the chaos. To make room for love and happiness and meaning and connection while you're waiting for that perfect balance to happen. Because (I've got some bad news for perfectionists) you can waste your entire life waiting for the balance to happen first.
So me? I'm going to drink some eggnog (if my husband has left me any) and wrap a few more presents tonight. The paper is already conveniently strewn about the floor, so I won't even have to hunt it down. (Hopefully my dogs didn't eat it today).
And I will laugh.
And for a moment, my teeth will look whiter and I will feel at balance... even if my teeter totter is still in motion.
Wishing you a life of abundance!