Balance

Monday, June 20

Balance


In preparing to facilitate a class on mindfulness and addictions I did the Canadian Mental Health Association's quiz on work/life balance. I scored a 5 on a scale of 0-15 with 0 being total chaos and 15 being perfect serenity. My life is out of balance. In truth, I'm probably closer to being completely, totally, and absolutely off-kilter as I carry the demands of a new job, a new house, a new life and a toddler in a brand new, more-demanding-than-ever-before stage of life (mommymommymommy).

And so, today, as I prepare to review a report, a paper, a lecture, debate the merits of tile vs. hardwood and choose custom blinds, I will leave you with an observation on work/life balance by Dr. Paula Caproni. Dr Caproni is a business and management professor at the University of Michigan who is not all that convinced that we should be striving for this elusive balance anyways:
My concern is that a strategic, goal-oriented approach to life assumes that people have a great deal of choice and control over their lives despite the fact that life is rich with unpredictability, problems are often too big to control, and we are sometimes incapable of and not interested in doing more and better. Furthermore, life is dynamic rather than static, so our best-laid plans are often out of date long before they are implemented. Joys and sorrows we never predicted enter our lives without warning, and the blessings we have today may be gone tomorrow. Such turns of events do not lend themselves to planning. A strategic orientation to life underestimates the degree to which life is, and probably should be, deeply emotional, haphazard, and uncontrollable. Balance, perhaps thankfully, may be beyond our reach.

Here's to letting go of balance in the search for perfect serenity.
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