Friday, September 27, 2013

The work-life balance?

So, I have been thinking a lot lately about what we discuss often at my university--the "work-life balance."

There is the old question of whether one works to live or lives to work.  At my institution there are those who seek "balance" between work and life, and others who don't think a measured balance is possible, but who hope for a livable coexistence. 

Most recently, I ran into an insightful bit on this issue on this blog, where the author, Karen Maezer Miller, makes this point:
"Work is not a distraction from your life; it is not a detour, hindrance or necessary evil. If you think this way it is the wrong view. When you are working, work is your life. Care for it as you care for yourself." 
This struck such a chord in me.  I am still not entirely sure that I want to stay in the academic gig that I am in, or live in the city where I live.  But, right now, I am here.  I want to live my work mindfully, and to be, fully, where I am right now.  Isn't that what it's all about anyway?  

This does not mean that I am willing to let work take over my every waking moment.  I am determined not to do that, actually.  But it is about focus and acceptance when the work time comes, and about being able to let it go for other parts of life when it's time for that, too.

I hope that I can stay with this insight and commitment as the craze of October takes over my work.

1 comment:

  1. I am suspicious of the cheery and chipper blog post from the woman 15 years out of the workplace. Good advice, but realistically...?

    The question for me is whether I'm exhausting myself trying to be a cheerful and productive square peg, while I'm stuck in a round hole. If I can't let go and be fully present in my work, is it me that's wrong or the job?