Caught up in the debate about work/life balance? It sounds so good doesn’t it, to keep everything balanced? But why are we always chasing this elusive concept? Judging by the amount of chatter about it – why do we keep failing at it? Maybe we need a shift in our thinking.
I am a fan of Pam Slim’s work and her book: Body of work. To me she gets at this concept in a way that validates what I have felt for a long time.
When we separate life and work we put them in competition with each other. Like all competitions, there is a winner and a loser (I like it better when everybody wins!) We are either working too much or not working enough. Not at home enough, or home too much. Rather than constantly trying to battle the balance between work and home life, what happens if we shift perspective and look at our lives as one big body of work and our gift to the world.
Imagine that the many aspects of your life are threads in your own masterpiece. We have a choice of what threads we pick up and which ones we don’t. If we only use one colour and one weight of thread, our masterpiece will be pretty dull. When we pull from all of our experiences we create a unique work of art – that is when we thrive and are at our best. Sometimes the beauty of our masterpiece will be compromised and only certain threads will be used, while others go untouched. Be ok with that. It won’t last forever and with conscious effort we can gently reach out again and weave with many fibers.
So, take the pressure off. Don’t chase the illusion of work life balance. Instead, live fully and surround yourself with the beautiful and diverse threads from all parts of your life. Silky, nubly, twisted, and colourful ones. Then weave your body of work with great joy.