The last few months have brought an unprecedented amount of work into my life. Great work, engaging and interesting work. But, after three weeks of working day and night, I found myself dreaming of rest and ease and all those things we are referring to when we talk about work/life balance.
Work/life balance is like the holy grail; we talk about it, we declare our intentions to have more of it, we chase it like a wayward balloon until the wind carries it forever beyond our grasp.
I’ve heard people say “give up on work/life balance. It is not achievable. Stop torturing yourself.” And while I am always an advocate of not torturing oneself, I am definitely not about to give up on work/life balance.
The key is to understand the meaning of balance. Balance is a fluid process not a static state. It is an action.
So after three weeks of nonstop work, I started tipping the scales in the other direction. I started the week with a vacation day. That’s right, I took Monday off and went to a spa in Calistoga. I swam and read fashion magazines and otherwise thumbed my nose at the “busy-ness” of my life. It felt great.
And now it’s Friday and I am working in the café at my gym. Sure, I’m working, but at the gym, in my exercise clothes. And soon I’ll be sweating it out in a spin class and then getting into a sauna. So today work feels a little bit more like athletic play.
Next week things may swing back the other direction. But that’s ok. Because before too long, I will swing them back: up and down, back and forth, just like a seesaw or those antique metal scales. Because I am balancing. And it is this state of flux that makes balance, like nearly every aspect of life, a journey rather than a destination.