Monday, September 10, 2007

Balancing Work, Family Play—Is It Just a Juggling Act?

I got to thinking about what a high price we put on the idea of somehow balancing all the different roles in our lives. Maybe we cannot find the answers because we need to ask a different question.

Is it possible to balance your life and keep work, family and play all in a position of priority without one being lost to the other two? Or is it merely a juggling act where you never really feel anything is stable? What if it’s both?

As women we still expect ourselves to fulfill every need, want and demand of our family, career AND our social life. We’ve spent years looking for ways to balance it all and yet we cannot seem to find the answer. What if we are just trying too hard?Often, if you listen to women talk, you will hear them stressfully wonder "How long is this juggling act is going to last and when will I feel like my life is in balance? Maybe it’s time for a new tactic. When we stand back for a few moments and watch another woman we admire skillfully fulfill the varying roles of her life, we think “Oh, look at how she can handle so many things at once and look so good doing it! Why can’t I do that?” What we don’t stop to realize is that juggling is really the most amazing form of balance there is. When you think of balancing a tray of appetizers on one hand at a party, you know you can handle that with ease, but if someone handed you three tennis balls and asked you to juggle, if you’re like me you are ready to turn and run! You know juggling requires an inordinate amount of skill and training and to attempt it without any direction would be asking for trouble. In fact, you would never suggest that someone who didn’t know how to juggle was somehow lacking would you? Of course not!

Now, apply that same logic to the way you feel like you are constantly juggling your work, your family and your playtime. Remember, we’ve already determined that learning to juggle is a process of training and skill. In fact, the only way we get better at juggling is to practice every day. We call that commitment. You are living the most intricate form of balancing there is- the juggling of all the areas of your life. Stop being so hard on yourself for being who you are and give yourself the round of applause you would give to any juggler! What you don’t realize is that somewhere behind you, another woman is watching, admiring and thinking, “Wow, she is good at handling everything in her life! Why can’t I do that?” Appreciate your ability to juggle- and never forget how much balancing it really takes!

Until next time,

Teresa

1 comment:

Kyrene said...

People should read this.