Noun - “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.”
Verb - “keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.”
- As a noun – when you’re upright and steady you’re balanced. This has to be like 95% of your workday, right? The other 5% accounts for happy hours.
- As a verb – something in a steady position that doesn’t fall. When was the last time you failed at work? How about at home?
Raises hand. Pretty much every day I fail at something – and I’m proud of it. It means I took a risk, and I chose action over inaction.
We know it’s something we need, and the only time we’re thinking about it is when we’re overworked. When we’re leaving the office early, coming home to cook a lovely dinner you found on Pinterest that morning, sipping your shiraz, and loving life – we’re not thinking about work-life balance – because we’ve got it!
Work-life balance is like the operations department of any company. When it’s running well you don’t even know it exists. When shit hits the fan, though, let’s blame the operation!
Work-life balance only hits our radar when we’re overworked and stressed out. “UGH, I need more work-life balance.”
No, you don’t. You don’t need work-life balance. You need to start practicing acceptance.
Balance is bullshit.
So can we please, please, PLEASE stop talking about it?
Like farting unicorns or honest politicians—they don’t exist.
Yes, you’re busy—we know.
And yes, we know that you’re busier than everyone else because you know – kids, demanding job, three jobs, vomit, animals – blah blah blah.
The point I'm making is that there’s no such thing as work-life balance.
It's more like a see-saw. You know, the same thing your ass thudded to the dirt on as a kid when one of your asshat friends saw a bee on the other side of the playground and abandoned ship? The thing that if your friends had figure skater quads would throw you in the air so high you’d slam your butt back down on a hard piece of plank wood.
There are dozens of reasons why you won't find these in playgrounds anymore—they suck! Also, lawsuits.
The place where seesaws still exist is your life.
Work is manageable, you're on top of your to-do list, your inbox is at zero, and you have time for happy hour. Oops – you’ve been neglecting your husband so you could stay on top of work. Unbalanced.
One kid was sick, then another had a field trip that you promised to chaperone and your team is pissed because you’re not there and they need to move a meeting and delay your project. Unbalanced.
You’re writing a book, spending every waking our pounding away on your computer, ignoring everyone in your family from 6-10pm. I wouldn’t know anything about this by the way. Unbalanced.
Balance is a myth.
There’s no such thing as doing it all.
If you see me and think I’m doing it all—you’ve got me all wrong. Sometimes people ask me, how’d you write a book? I’d never be able to do that! How do you work full time and have kids? I couldn’t do it. How do you have time to blog, write, speak at events, and feed your family healthy food. Well – I don’t do all these things all the time.
You know how many times my kids have had a frozen veggie burger with a side of grape tomatoes for dinner these past few months? I can't tell you because it’s too many times to count.
Do you know how many nights my husband and I sit on the couch with the TV on while we hammer away on our laptops? Most nights.
Humans were designed to work. We need it, we thrive on it. No matter what you do – you’re working.
Work is part of your life – not a separate thing you need to need to put a big fence around. Work and life are inextricably linked—stop trying to bust them apart.
For every mom in a pencil skirt, there’s underwear on the floor and a past due credit card bill.
For every mom you see in the pickup line with perfect hair, there she is, working until 2am to build her business.
This is your permission slip. Your sign. Starting today, you’re going to remove the term, “work-life balance” from your vocabulary.
And hop on the fucking see-saw of your life—and have fun.