Updated: January 20, 2019
Work/life balance: a phrase often heard, and rarely exercised! For me, even when I’m taking time off, I’m working in some capacity. Take last Wednesday, for example. I went to a coffee shop to work and a friend came to hang out with me. I’m pretty sure all of my friends are under the understanding that if you want to see me, you have to find out where I’m working, and just meet me there.
We all say we know what work/life balance is. A lot of us actually have a great grasp on it. Some of us have turned our work into our life. I’m here to tell you that no matter what your work/life balance looks like, it is your choice to enjoy it any way you like. But take a break once in a while. I’m sure your sanity will thank you.
I happen to be very passionate about my work and I feel super guilty when I’m taking time to do something that doesn’t advance it some way. I went to a pool party once and I couldn’t shake that itching feeling that there was work that I could be doing instead. I left the pool party early to get some work done. This type of thing happens all the time for me.
I’m sure that isn’t the healthiest way to be. We all need a break. Looking back on that pool party, I had a blast and was able to come to my projects with a relaxed brain, excelling my productivity. It was a benefit, not a hindrance.
I also have a family, of sorts. Nothing too crazy. No kids, just dogs. And I love them beyond measure. They keep me in check. When I lived with them, I would take them to the dog park, that has a bar, and wi-fi. I would often work while they play, and I considered that quality time. I think they would disagree if they could talk. They want cuddles and pets and all of the attention they can get. Especially Michi, who always kept licking my face in the morning until I woke up and showered her with affection.
There is a saying, “nothing gold can stay.” We need to enjoy what happens outside of our work, while we can. I recently almost lost a loved one who had worked his whole life and was a year away from retirement. A freak accident not only almost cost him his life. He was dead for 9 whole minutes and in a coma for a few months. The first few years of his retirement have been spent recovering and rehabilitating, instead of traveling and relaxing.
Life is short and there are many things we all experience that reinforce this.
I say all of this to say: Take in life outside of work as much as you can. I’ll try to be better at it if you do too, but you have to promise me you will.
Promise me you’ll work on your work/life balance and tell me what you are going to do this week that has absolutely nothing to do with work in the comments. I’m going to go someplace new, that I’ve never been. I’ll document it and post it, so you know I did it (technically work, but I have to prove to you I kept my promise, right?).