I have read so many articles about ‘Work / Life’ balance. They all show images of old fashioned cooking scales or a tightrope. It would be easy to think that the secret to a happy life is just a little two-sided equation – we can find the perfect balance and ‘have it all‘. If you’re pulled too far in one direction, take a little out of the left, add it to the right and you’ll be back on track. Easy.
But, I’ve kept feeling that there’s something missing… ‘Having it all’ seems more than two categories. I can’t capture everything that makes up ‘Life’ on one side of the scales, if the other side is filled with ‘Work’.
For me, a better image is hundreds of spinning plates and me running between trying to give each one enough attention.
I have many friends who don’t ‘work’ (we’ll debate that definition another time), who still have uncountable plates threatening to crash to the floor at any time.
Even if I give a name to all the plates… children, husband, parents, exercise, house, friends and so on and so on, there are still so many subsets, it blows my mind.
So, for many years, I have tried to give all my plates suitable attention, petrified that it would be my fault if they smashed and were irreparable. God forbid anyone even sees any of them wobbling.
- What if I don’t spend enough quality time with my children?
- What if I don’t have my hair highlighted and legs waxed?
- What if I don’t provide a great, healthy Sunday dinner for the family?
But it’s exhausting. I’ve decided that ‘having it all’ is too much. I’m going to let some plates crash and not feel guilty. Well, I’m going to try.