Robbin Jorgensen’s talk early this month on the power of words has me thinking of two expressions that make me cringe each time I hear them. My first thought is to abolish these expressions from my vocabulary but even that would give these expressions too much power. If we embrace these expressions as uniquely individual there’s no right or wrong; it’s what is meaningful to you and only you.
The two expressions are “perfect” and “work-life balance.” I believe they have a powerful impact on each other and have been driving women crazy for decades.
Let me tackle “work-life balance” first. Recently I attended an event where a 30’s something woman stood up and asked the speaker how she obtained “work-life balance.” As a 50’s something woman I had hoped that by now we would see “work-life balance” as something that works differently for each of us and not something that can be replicated by someone else’s unique formula for balancing work and life.
Simon Sinek has the explanation of work-life balance that speaks to me. Simon states that if you are looking for balance there is an imbalance in your life. He equates balance with comfort. If you are comfortable at home, are you not comfortable at work? If you are comfortable with home and work, the perception of an imbalance no longer exists.
The definition of balance is a condition where different elements are equal or in correct proportions. Only you can define what equal or correct proportions are for your life. There is no secret sauce that works for everyone, you have to find your own sauce and enjoy it. My sauce is that I am comfortable at home and work and the line blurs between the two. There are still days, weeks or sometimes months that I feel uncomfortable with life. When this happens I stop and listen to what the universe is telling me and take back my power.
Now let me tackle “perfect.” The definition of perfect is having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be. When it comes to work-life or home life where do we get the definition of the elements, qualities or characteristics? They most often come from external sources such as society, our companies, our families and friends, or what we see on social media. How often do they come from within?
The world would be a different place if we strived to reach our own definition of “perfect.” It would help eliminate the self sabotage and we would not miss out on all the amazing things we accomplish everyday but fail to recognize because we have not lived up to someone else’s “perfect.”
My definition of “perfect” is to be the best, most kind and humble person that I can be on any given day. There are days that work gets everything from me and days that home life gets everything from me, on those days, life is in its correct proportion or “perfect” and I have my own “work-life balance.”