I confess that there are some weekends where I sit at my computer writing or researching for hours to meet client deadlines or catch up on work. The last time I did this, a colleague who knew I consulted on life/work balance issues decided to remind me that when I’m gone my son wouldn’t remember me for how good I was at work but whether or not I attended his Saturday baseball games.
My response was. “My son doesn’t play baseball, and as much as I love my son and enjoy spending time with him, he would certainly remember if I didn’t work at all. was with him every minute and we ended up homeless.”
When I work on a weekend, I take extra time for myself and family during the week. There is no life/work balance bible that says never work weekends, start at 8:00 or whenever and end at 5:00. I didn’t start my business to be on someone else’s schedule. Some people love that kind of schedule and it works very well for their professional and personal life.
Personal and professional, work or life, it’s all part of the same life. Trying to live someone else’s idea of life is exhausting and a waste of time. Too many self-help life/work balance gurus keep parroting the same cliches.
I think we would do better to think in terms of life/work integration.
Another cliche time waster is “Live every day like it’s your last, because you never know what will happen tomorrow.” I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but if I were to live every day like it was my last, I’d probably be out trying to figure out how to have more days, or I’d be on the phone or on twitter saying goodbye to everyone , and making plans to see them on the other side.
We do have to appreciate and live in each moment. There is always something to be grateful for, even if it’s friends, family and community to help us in our darkest hours. It’s also ok to not be grateful for those dark hours. But everyone I know is busy and we don’t want to waste time, so when some do-gooder spouts those aforementioned cliches, I have to walk away thinking “don’t waste my listening time or your talking time.”