Musings on Life Balance (Not Work-Life Balance)
By Nancy Zwiers
People in my circles are quibbling over terminology: is it Work-Life Balance or is it Work-Life Integration? Both terms imply that work is not a part of life, which of course is not the case. Evolution requires all living things to make a livelihood. These terms also might imply that our work and our life are on equal footing, but work is just one part of life. Taking a step back, I’m advocating for “Life Balance” as the term of choice.
Our lives are multi-faceted and balancing the many facets is no small feat. Let’s face it: It’s not really a dyad (x vs x) when there are so many different facets competing for our precious time and attention: work tasks, work relationships, rest/relaxation, recreation, health, family (partners/spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings), friends, social circles, local community, citizens, environment, travel, volunteerism, personal finances, etc. We all subconsciously execute a complicated balancing act every day, one that evolves as we move through various life stages.
I submit that balancing all of life’s demands in concert with our values is fundamental to achieving a sense of well-being. Given its complexity and importance, maybe the concept of Life Balance deserves more thoughtfulness on our part?
Of course, there is no magic bullet here, no single right answer (darn!). For sure, life balance strategies differ greatly not only by life stage and values, but also by gender, marital status, parental status, and more. Here are a few musings that might help you jumpstart a personal inquiry into your own Life Balance strategies.
Bottom-line, Life Balance is the holy grail of happiness, contentment, and well-being. Its worth our time to become as thoughtful as possible about the choices we make...in each stage of our lives.
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