Work-life balance is that most illusive of commodities. So many of us who work full-time, especially from the home, are constantly in search of this thing we have been told we can have if only we get our priorities in line, if only we end the workday at a reasonable hour, if only we weren’t such workaholics.
After talking to hundreds of clients about the difficulty of finding “work-life balance,” I have become skeptical about the whole concept. All we have is life, and we measure that life through “time.” Unfortunately, too many of us have been sold a bill of goods that most of our “adult” time is spoken for, that we have to put aside childish desires to live a life of purpose and joy in favor of “making a living.”
We are allowed to enjoy ourselves only after we have met the imperative obligation of work. I say throw off the yolk of “must, should, and have to” and at least allow yourself to explore how you “want” to spend your “life-time.” I am thrilled to have chosen to spend some of my precious life-time coaching others.
I started with the realization that I was, at best, uninterested in the “work” I was engaged in for nearly 30 years. So I decided to explore the possibility that I could earn a living doing something that didn’t make me long all day for “balance.” I began by asking, “What if I felt balanced all the time? What if my work and life were one, complementing and informing the other?” I started with assessing what I loved and liked about the way I spent my time, at my job and outside of my job. Then I asked myself what I was really good at. In thinking about my strengths, I assessed both my skills and my being (how I show up for others). I ended by assessing my finances and my partner’s relative comfort level with me starting something new at the ripe, old age of 55. Now, I have the privilege of making it safe and exciting for people from all walks to explore how they want to spend their lives.