Work-life balance is an over-simplification

When people talk about work-life balance they are usually talking about how much time a woman spends working on her career versus spending time with her family. One imagines a two-sided scale with family on one side and job on the other. If you don’t have enough time for one side you move it from the other until you achieve balance. But for me (and I’d guess most people) there are a lot more variables in the work-life balance equation than time at work and time with family.

My most public item to balance is this blog. Work-life-blog balance has been a struggle on and off since I’ve started writing here. The worst time was when I did my Halloween series last year. I had a lot of fun publishing Halloween posts nearly every day in October, but even though most of them were guest posts it took up a lot of time.

In the mornings before work I would disappear into the office to publish and share that day’s post. This left my husband handling critical last minute getting kid ready duties on his own for most of the month. In the evenings after the kids were in bed I would usually disappear to format upcoming posts.

Recently I’ve tried to maintain work-life-blog balance by limiting myself to two posts a week despite having many notebook pages full of ideas for posts I want to write. If you look back, you’ll see that I often end up with three posts in a week instead of just two. If I limited myself to three posts, I’d probably write four.

I’ve written before about how I have failed to find work-life-playwriting balance. I hope to find that again soon. I do miss it.

Work-life-books balance has improved since I changed jobs last year and started commuting on public transportation again, which gives me time to read. However, because this new commute means I get home later it has largely killed work-life-cooking balance. Luckily my husband has picked up that slack. It’s nice coming home to dinner already made, but cooking was nice too.

Work-life-acting/directing/choreography balance was abandoned during graduate school. I probably won’t attempt that again until my children are out of the house and/or I’ve retired. I have been doing better with work-life-seeing-theatre balance. I think I’ve seen seven plays so far this year, and only two of them were children’s shows.

Work-life-TV balance isn’t a high priority for me since there are very few shows that I really like to watch. Still, I’m only through episode of four of season two of Orange is The Black due to lack of time to binge watch it.

Work-life-exercise balance has always been a struggle and still is. I miss yoga. So does my back.

Speaking of my back, work-life-massage balance is severely messed up. My husband has gifted me two massages (for Christmas and Valentine’s Day I think) that I still have not scheduled. I clearly suck at priorities.

Whether I have work-life-Twitter balance really depends on the day.

Work-life-laundry balance is often only achieved very late on Sunday night. Work-life-mopping and work-life-dusting balance are lies.

And all this hinges on work-life-sleep balance, because if I don’t get at least six hours (ideally seven) I can’t manage any of the above.

What are you trying to balance?


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