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I've got someone fooled! The myth of having work/life balance!
I’m thrilled to be heading to Boca Raton this for the Enterprising Women (EW) Magazine Annual Conference and Awards Event. I sit on the Advisory Board for the Magazine and have been impressed with the content of the publication and the women who are involved with EW.
I’ve been asked to participate on a panel on Thursday talking about my approach to work/life balance. Interestingly, I was recently asked to moderate a panel on the same subject here in Atlanta. Hmm … I must have a lot of people fooled if they look to me as an expert on work / life balance because, let me tell you, there are plenty of weeks where I feel so out of balance that it’s almost comical!
I recently heard someone describe ‘work/life balance’ as ‘work/life alignment’ and that concept really resonated with me. I’ve never been to a chiropractor in my life, but I do know that you go to see one when you need to ‘get aligned.’ It doesn’t mean things are perfect; it just means that there isn’t any major pain going on at the moment. I liked that. It often-times describes my life. Things aren’t necessarily perfect, but there isn’t any major pain going on either.
There are days and weeks (OK – it’s probably as granular as hours!) when my alignment shifts and my kids or my husband or my friends or my family or my job or my colleagues or my health or my sanity need a larger part of my focus, to the detriment of other parts of my life, and that’s OK.
The challenge comes in recognizing those times where you need to align to a new focus or a new priority, and then being able to flex back to the normal routine. Another challenge comes in being able to handle life’s little challenges that pop up every day. Another challenge lies in ensuring that I do all I can to satisfy as many facets of my life as possible (all work and no play makes Monique a dull girl!). Another challenge comes in letting go of ‘guilt’ and as those who know me well will tell you, I love to say that, “guilt is a wasted emotion.’ There is no good in it. It’s wasted energy that serves no purpose.
True, I do have a lot going on my life. Lots of people have a lot going on in their lives and have to deal with the reality of ‘how to get it all done’ to achieve that mythical work/life balance! At the end of the day or the week or the month, for me it’s all about how I feel about where I spent my time and what I accomplished (and that isn’t always ‘doing’ things that are considered work … it can often be about spending time connecting with other people … or doing things just for me.)
I’m no fool to think I have this equation solved. I’d be crazy to say (or even think) that I do. For me, the fun part is in figuring the alignment out each day and to be able to enrich my life by dabbling in so many different facets of it!