I think balance is the greatest myth of my mother’s generation. After the lie that big shoulder pads made you look powerful and awesome, of course.
Looking for balance is a guilt-inducing, tail-chasing way of life. You are always seeking and never finding. It is noble, and honorable, and understandable in it’s allure. However, is life ever balanced?
Do you ever have just the right amount of sleep? Money? Work?
Maybe. Maybe for a season. Congrats! You’re balanced. Now wait for the next wave to come and knock you off your neat and tidy perch. That next wave is surely coming–whatever it ends up looking like (overtime, sick child, new friends).
The past 3 weeks have been challenging our family’s equlibrium (with The Tiny Shop, the launch of Simple Design, and the announcement of The Influence Conference). But, with all the wiggling and the wobbling, it’s a good thing we don’t strive for balance.
Instead, Husband and I have always sought margin. Margin is like the white space of life. It is the room to breath, the room to pivot, the room to rest and play and recharge. Margin is what allows us to serve unexpectedly or host friends for dinner. Margin is what flexes in order to take on extra projects without imploding.
The great part about margin is that it is different for everyone and changes with seasons. You need more margin in seasons of life’s “big events” (new baby, new job, illness, a move, etc.). However, when life is just chugging along, you can bear to spread yourself out a little bit–because the rest of life is more-or-less predictable.
I’ll be honest, we’ve about maxed out our margin. But, because I am getting better at knowing myself, I plan project-based end-date-bound obligations. That way, just when I feel like I’m about at the edge of my comfort–one thing falls away just in time to free up my plate. The Tiny Shop has closed (sold out!), Simple Design got going and I had my first post, and The Influence Conference prep work will end here soon for awhile.
I would encourage you, leave the myth of balance behind. It is as outdated as the Delorean. Seeking balance will rarely make you feel balanced–only that you’re almost there. And almost there is about the most tipsy place you can be.
Do you think balance is a myth? Let’s get the conversation going in the comments–I’m fascinated!