There must be countless articles on work life balance. All depicting the right way(s) to tackle ‘the problem’ and often demanding a concentrated separation of the two parts. Work life balance as a topic seems to be targeted at the majority of us that go to work for scheduled periods of time (like 8 to 5, for example). It concentrates on the time that is left over after work that needs to be ‘managed’ to ensure this so called balance.
In reality working, living, writing and wobbling happens between a mix of scheduled and unscheduled activities, all over lapping each other. Work often gets out of its lane, being bumper bashed into priority and forcibly leaning into the ‘out of office’ window to demand attention. And the life wobbles? Well the wobbles are the fun children that are there to keep us on our toes, re-evaluate and keep us heading in the right direction in life. They also don’t care if you are at work.
Life is just one amazing big gooey mess of awesomeness smushed up against the mundaneness, shittiness and the ugliness. It will not stick to a timeframe and it will not stick to a plan.
So maybe we need to think about it a little differently? As a start, instead of making work the priority (which is the default), why not make the things you love a priority. If one of those things is your work, fantastic! For the time investment, if your work is NOT something you love then maybe you should stop making it a priority… i.e. maybe you should be looking to do something else? You will definitely be happier for it and so will the rest of us.
Work is not the bad guy here.. when you love your work it’s a pleasure to do, time flies by and for the most part (nothing is perfect) it leaves you with a smile on your face. Do you think you would still need to ‘balance’ your work / life time if you truly enjoyed your work? No more than you would the other things you enjoy. Yes yes work takes up more time, sure, no argument there, but it is definitely about more than that.
All you golfers out there… If your golf game is off, you may decide to take extra lessons right? Do you moan about spending more time playing golf to enhance your game? You might moan about needing lessons but definitely not about getting golf ‘burnout’.
And us writers (full or part time), when we are in the midst of a complex plot with turns and twists that cant wait to spread themselves on a page, do we cry and moan that we have to spend the extra couple of hours… days… weeks to get it right. Admittedly maybe a bit, cause we are writers, but we would not want anyone else to do it because it is our labour of love!
Life is too short for crappy jobs, toxic environments, shitty people and bad food. If we are going to be stressed about anything, let’s do it in the name of something we absolutely LOVE.
Work life balance? Nah…. ALL LIFE BALANCE !
Janine (J9) Nijs