One of the biggest obstacles I run into with my clients, as well as myself, is this quest for the unicorn that is “work/life balance” and how overwhelming that quest is. Thanks to the Millennials, this term has become the buzzword of the century because it is so important, and non negotiable, to them, and we think they are nuts because of it. But that's because we are looking at it the wrong way. What we think is “balanced” doesn't exist, its total bullshit, at least in the context that we have put it in. By changing one word, though, all of sudden it makes sense. Its not about balancing, its about blending.
When I hear the term “balance” I instantly think of a scale. Now, in order for a scale to be balanced, both sides (work and life) need to be even. How the hell are you supposed to accomplish that? Because to me I picture myself just running back and forth making sure that both sides are even, and exhausting myself with nothing to show for it but bags under my eyes, a shitty attitude, and, on top of it all, the guilt I felt when I didn’t accomplish it. It's impossible, not only mentally but also physically and emotionally. We are setting ourselves up for failure and then beating ourselves up when we accomplish that failure, which was going to be the outcome all along. How idiotic is that?! There is no such thing as an equal balance, but there is definitely such a thing as a successful blend.
Now, when I hear the word, blend, I picture my day as a clear vessel, and I have full say on what to fill it with. Now instead of two scales, I have two jars. In one jar I have small rocks that represent work, in another jar I have sand that represents play. In order to build a successful base for anything you have to blend both and that ratio depends on what you are trying to build. Some days may be a shit ton of rocks because I am fully focused on my business, but guess what, there are cracks. If I tried to build anything on just those rocks the rocks would shift and my base would crumble. But, if I make sure to add some play or self care, that sand is going to pour down and fill those cracks, creating a sturdier base. Some days may be a lot of play but that will only get me so far because nothing survives being built on sand. But if I add some work in there and then play, I have now created layers which, in return, creates a stronger base. You see where I am getting with this? You CAN NOT be all business and no play and be happy. You CAN NOT be all play and no business and be successful. You have to blend them together! When I started applying this term to my daily routine all of a sudden every day I went to bed happy and fulfilled. My business grew, my personal relationships deepend, and I never again felt guilty for self care. Because it is essential is creating my personalized base for my life.
That is what the Millenials have discovered, they aren’t crazy, they are healthy, happy, and are living a more fulfilled life then most of us trying to achieve this unknown “balance”. Lets use their example, learn from them, and apply to it our journey. Now that we have shifted that word, I want you to take a look at your schedule, look at your priorities. Does this shift now give you a different outlook? Does this shift now give you the permission to “hustle” your way? Does it give you more permission to add in self care? Because that is needed folks, you need that sand. Self care is the first thing we sacrifice, especially women, and it's the biggest defense we have in being successful. Fuck the balancing act, let's start blending and create a true life by design.
Rocks and sand. Your journey. Your ratio. Every day.