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Work/Life Balance is a Lie

On the pet peeve list is the phrase "work/life balance". There is no such thing. It's simple - there is life and then a small part of it is work. The reason people don't believe this is because we make the mistake of assuming time is the key factor. In other words, there is balance if I am spending the right number of hours on each.

Time isn't the determining factor - impact and humanity are. If you work 10 hours on a Wednesday and come home in time to spend 1 hour deeply connecting with your 5 year old over anything, it isn't balanced time wise, but you've done something amazing. If you worked those 10 hours and came home, but didn't spend time connecting with your 5 year old, you still aren't balanced. Same time devoted to each, but totally different outcome.

I've recently had some big life changes - my father passed away and we took our youngest child to college. Lots of holes in my life right now. When we were grieving about my dad, we spoke of his laugh, how much he loved baseball, how great he was with kids, how mischievous he was, etc. The closest we can to talking about work was when we talked about how hard he worked for his family.

When I think of the lessons my daughter hopefully learned to prepare her for college, my guess is that they aren't about time schedules and focusing on work. They were most likely about giving your best effort, trying new things, and taking advantage of the gifts God has given us.

Focus on life. Most of us have to work to live. Don't try and balance the two like a perfectly balanced see-saw. Make one side as lopsided as you can - and the side so heavy it keeps the other side in the air should be life.

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