It’s one of the things that we, as humans, seem to be on the constant quest for.
I can’t even tell you how many people I talk to who are trying to get more BALANCE into their lives. Have you ever done a Google search for ‘life balance’?
Cue, one bazillion articles with life hacks, tips, and guides for getting more balance in your life.
And, I hate to say it, but I think it’s bollocks.
There, I said it, against the word of all the articles out there that have you believing it’s totally achievable.
I have a few thoughts on why balance is not all it’s cracked up to be.
The quest for balance is a reminder that you’re not enough
It starts off with good intentions. You know, ‘I need to work less’, ‘I need to spend more time with my kids’, ‘I need to exercise more’. All perfectly good life stuff.
Then it becomes:
Unrealistic schedules and endless ‘to do lists’ to fit it all in.
Overcommitting to social engagements or work projects to have the fun and the career achievements as well.
The overwhelming plans to have get married, have kids, see the world, start a business, get a puppy, buy a house, and become a yoga instructor before 30.
You know, to have it all. The sweet allure of balance.
But with those grand plans comes a bunch of not-so-fun stuff:
Guilt (when you DON’T get up at sunrise because you worked so late and then had drinks with the girls because, balance).
Exhaustion and overwhelm.
But never actually fully committing to anything.
And the inadequacy that comes when you have a day when things become ‘unbalanced’.
The thing about striving for balance is that it’s a constant reminder than when you’re not living in a way that you consider ‘balanced’, then you’re just not good enough.
And that is not cool, my friend.
Because you are enough and wherever you are right at this moment, is exactly where you’re supposed to be in your life, your learning, and everything in between.
Balance is the new ‘perfect’
By now we all know that perfection is a myth. It’s something that we, as beautifully flawed humans, are coming to terms with never achieving because it’s not actually real (and if you don’t believe me, there are another gazillion articles out there to back me up).
BUT it kind of feels like we have replaced perfection with this equally bogus idea of achieving life balance.
Let me ask you, what does balance actually mean to you?
Does it sound like:
:: Having what you consider the perfect work/life balance
:: Perfectly proportioning your days to contain some social activities, fitness, chores, meditation, work and sleep
:: A perfectly fulfilling life that encompasses a little bit of everything
:: Perfectly nailing difficult yoga balance without shaking or falling out of it?
This is what I think of when someone tells me they want balance in their life.
And it makes me wonder if balance is just a new age word for perfection. A mythical promise that we will get there ‘one day’ but, until that glorious and fictitious day, we will grapple with the difficulties of never actually achieving it.
Balance is a feeling, not a snapshot of what your life looks like
If you’re working on an exciting project and you sit up all night working on it, guess what? You’re not going to get the balance of work and sleep you might be hoping for.
If you spend the whole weekend hanging out in your pjs with your family, you’re not going to get much work, or exercise, or anything else done.
If you’re madly in love, it may just be (for a little while at least), that there is actually chemicals in your brain forcing you to spend as much time together as possible, meaning everything else gets a little less of your attention (this is actually science to back me up on this one, not just Huffington Post)
If you are constantly searching for balance, you might find yourself sacrificing other wonderful human emotions in the process:
All encompassing passion. Spontaneity. Excitement. Joy.
Passion doesn’t understand work/life balance. It’s the feelings that keep you up late at night and get you up early in the morning. The feelings that make you come alive.
And, in the end, that’s what we’re here for.
If you’ve been craving balance in your life, what are you REALLY looking for?
+ Is it that you’re working a job that doesn’t light you up?
+ Is it that you haven’t been taking care of yourself or prioritising your health?
+ Is it that your mind space is cluttered and overwhelmed so you’re desperately clinging to this idea of balance in hopes that it will take the edge off?
Get to the heart of it, and then ask yourself, ‘what do I really need?’
And leave me a comment below and tell me how you feel about balance.
I’ve given up on trying to find the perfect balance, it just adds unnecessary stress to my life and who needs that.