The never-ending battle of the impossible.
The topic of defeat by so many people, but I will give a special nod to women who are placed in the predicament of the IMPOSSIBLE.
But everyone I know (male or female) is trying to find the “right” amount.
I’ve always been accused of being off-kilter. Accused of having too much “work.” And I too have accused myself of this. Every challenge of one of my child’s behaviors I’ve correlated to this personal deficit. This fault of poor priorities or decisions on my part. I caused the other side of the “saw” to tilt. The never ending seesaw game of shame and blame.
My accusers are not random people, but my closest of friends and family. There have been interventions. Sit downs even. I recall one friend asking “Have you ever picked up your child from school?” My answer. “That is a ridiculous question. Of course not. I have 800 children. I have to wait until they are all picked up and safe.”
And for years I stuck by my answer until all of a sudden I stopped feeling that way. I was unhappy and felt so much guilt. All of a sudden I felt out of whack. I started comparing myself to others. I started seeing how my friends had more “balance.” I felt that I was missing something and assumed that was time with my kids. So I quit my job.
But not until now do I realize that it wasn’t that I didn’t have balance, it was that I didn’t like my job. My job didn’t allow me to RUN. It didn’t allow me to make impact. I found myself in a culture that didn’t match my purpose. It happened quickly. It became clear that my life was ready for a “then” not an “and then.” I had to leave.
I found myself with TIME. I didn’t need to be at work from 7AM to 7PM. I started sleeping in. I tried that whole work out mom thing. I picked up my kids from school. I shuttled them from activity to activity. I was cooking meals. And guess what? I was just as miserable.
AND if anything my kids issues seemed to be doubling before my eyes. Maybe I was just paying more attention. Maybe that is why things seemed so dark. But either way, my increased presence did NOT make things better. My sole attention to my children did not solve any of these perceived issues of theirs nor did I find happiness.
So I write this lesson so I can forget it and read it again later.
It’s not about balance. It’s about purpose. Find your purpose and EVERYONE benefits, including your children.
And the whole work-life balance is a ridiculous conversation to even have. There is no such thing, because life is work and work is life. They cannot be compared or separated, because they the same. And I would even argue that if they are not. You are in the wrong “work” or “life.”
The issue is not balance, the issue are the choices. Are you living your purpose? Do you even know what that is?
Spend time on that question instead of getting on a childhood playground game that always ends with someone crying.
You know when someone jumps off because they are done playing and you find yourself crashing to the ground.
This is not a winning game.
So I leave my bunker as we hunker to go meet the Ming the Gap team. We have some housing units to see. We have ant colonies to build.
I will stop looking for balance and I will stop listening to my friends discuss it because if you are living your true purpose… it’s ALL in. The rest follows.