Something that has been on my mind since my last Gazette is balance.
Society tell us we need it.
“Hustle” culture make us feel like we can (& are supposed to) get it.
Social media inundates us with people who we think have achieved it.
Others like to tell us how they found it, and how we should try what worked for them.
And honestly, at the end of the day, we want it.
The perpetual pursuit of balance that culture puts on a pedestal hangs in the air like a heavy, invisible fog. Yet somehow, we’re expected to be balanced and a boss bitch that has just as many hours in the day as Beyoncé, at the same time.
We believe that on the other side of balance (this elusive, unicorn-like, being) is happiness, success, and fulfillment.
We run ourselves into the ground for the sake of “balance.”
Oftentimes we think that means we need to achieve equality in our attention to all of the important things in our lives.
By giving everything the same amount – that’s equality – that’s balance – right?
Not exactly. In my opinion, that’s the quick road to burnout.
Some of you may have experienced the other side of this pursuit for equality before. You work so hard to achieve balance – giving your job, your significant other, your hobbies, your self-care, your friends, your family – the same amount of attention. Until one day, you wake up, and you’re emotionally exhausted, feeling isolated (like no one understands you), and ultimately feeling an unshakable sense of apathy towards everything and everyone.
In case you haven’t noticed yet – I don’t believe in balance.
Balance, as we often defined it, doesn’t leave space for “life-happens.”
Because life happens. It’s happening. Sometimes it’s happening all over the place and you feel like the main attraction in a circus act trying to balance a dozen spinning plates on various parts of your body.
If I could completely cut the word “balance” out of the dialogue around how we design our lives, I would.
Because that’s just it – it should be about how you are creating your life.
Just like I mentioned before, we are constantly inundated with information on how to achieve balance. The problem is, that’s someone else’s life, with their unique set of circumstances, and personal goals for how they want to live.
When you are too consumed with comparison, or listening to others over your inner voice (however small that may feels sometimes), we lose sight of the creative vision for our own lives.
You have to define “balance” for yourself.
For me, the vision of equality in balance is bullshit. It’s an unachievable standard that is just going to leave you feeling inadequate.Balance is bullshit. It's about learning to thrive in the imbalance. Click To Tweet
Instead of worrying about how to achieve balance and comparing someone else’s seemingly balanced life to your own, refocus your energy on personal goals.
Instead of talking about balance let’s talk about how you are creating your life so you can achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.
Instead of letting yourself be consumed by the anxiety and guilt that comes with the fruitless pursuit of work/life balance, empower yourself to shamelessly live your own life pattern.
When I visualize this idea, it often manifests as me out for a run. The goal of my run is to finish it, but sometimes the environment challenges me. Wind, bumpy terrain, road traffic, heat – are just a few of the factors that are with me as I work to reach my goal. In the face of this, sometimes I have to slow down. Sometimes I have to take a longer route so I can stay in the shade. Sometimes I stumble. It’s rare that I’ll go out for a run that’s perfect – with a route that is exactly everything I need it to be to be successful. But, instead of looking at these experiences as things that inhibit me from completing my run, I try to look at them as part of the run. This is what it’s like to run. This is life.
I don’t feel the need to find balance in my life. Over time, I’ve learned to see all of the things in my life as part of my path, and I’ve let go of that (pointless) need to try and control its ebb and flow.
My intention for the Gazette was for it to be a weekly occurrence. I wanted it to be something you could look forward to every week. Obviously, that didn’t work out the way I planned.
When Nathan and I found out that we were going to have to move (more on this later) I struggled to juggle work, friends, self-care, and creating content for you. In this season of my life, I had to prioritize my home-life and let other things happen as they were able.
It wasn’t about balance, it was about flexibility.
It’s about staying the path in the face of life’s imbalance.It's not about balance. It's about flexibility. It's about staying the path in the face of life's imbalance. Click To Tweet
It may take me longer to complete my run, or make a consistent series on The Doctorette, or finally launch The Mad Hattresses podcast, but I’m still on the path, and I’m passionately committed to my life’s vision.
What’s the vision you have for you life?
How do you stay committed to your vision?