It is no surprise that many of my fellow life coaches and counselors disagree with my philosophy on balance. After all many coaches and counselors make a living with clients who seek “balance” in their lives. In my personal opinion AND EXPERIENCE I believe that the notion of life balance sets women up for failure unless with a clearly articulated vision. When you hear the word “balance” what image comes to your mind? Is it a perfectly aligned scale? A women dancing in a violet field with her children around her? Or a women with sweat on her brow walking across a tightrope over top of bustling New York City traffic? (That’s mine!)
The problem is that though the word “balance” conjures individual images for everyone, there is only one image that modern society projects…. when balanced all is right with the world. The psychological, social and spiritual gurus would have you to think that a perfectly balance life can be achieved with a little focus, planning and organization. I disagree.
Balance is a pain point for all women whether you work outside the home, own a business or simply care for your home and children. In my life, I have taken on the ridiculous, but purposeful, task of all three areas. I gave up on balance years ago when I realized that no matter what I did, no matter how much I planned and organized, used crock pots and alarm clocks, something was always out of balance.
While promoting my first book, Par for the Curse, I was a part-time pharmacy instructor. One day I had an epiphany. While teaching my students how to compound a skincare ointment I watched each of them struggle with measuring out the ingredients. Every pair of students watched intently as the scales moved back and forth while they tried their hardest to measure EXACTLY 3.0g of ointment. They continued to add and take away from the scales trying to get the scales to stay perfectly balance. I walked to each station and if the scales were straight but toggling I said, “That’s good enough.” By the third time I gave the okay, it hit me. A relatively balance scale that toggles a little is good enough.
When we see the image of balance it is a scale that is equally weighted on both sides. But with any scale the slightest influence can tip the scales. Wind, a sprinkle of water, a movement near the scale will cause it to toggle. Such it is with life balance. To go on record, I do not believe in Life Balance. I believe, support, and whole heartedly promote LIFE MANAGEMENT.
We will not know if our scales were really balanced until the end of our lives. We strive to give quality time to our families, lovers, and friends. We give an honest days work for an honest days pay. We use our gifts to the fullest. We work towards our dreams. We maintain our homes and our communities. At any given time something is taking more of your effort, energy and time than another. But, if managed correctly when it is all said and done all of your life responsibilities and interests will give you a reasonably aligned scale with a slight toggle. When your co-workers, employees, employers acknowledge your hard work and talent… when your family acknowledges your love… when your friends acknowledge your support… when you hit the pillow at night and you know you have done the very best that you could have possibly done for that day….your life is better than balanced. Your life matters!