Maybe you missed a recital. Maybe you missed a girls’ night out with friends. Maybe you were late to dinner with your significant other. Maybe you just can’t conceive of staring at the polyblended-tweed interior of your 9-5 cubicle another day.
You’ve had enough.
For a long time, it’s been assumed – and widely accepted – that there are two options for work: full-time employment and unemployment.
To those who have fallen victim to this myopic view of employment, we say this: For every person who has become disillusioned with working in an office, and to those who have chosen to leave the workforce to take care of their families, but felt something is missing, there is a better way.
Work-Life Balance or Work-Life Integration: The Operative Word Is ‘Life’
Full disclosure: We kinda have a dog in this fight – though that shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’re reading a blog on our website.
When we set out to create BELAY, we thought of every person who had become disillusioned with working in an office. We thought of those who considered leaving to take care of their families but always felt that something was missing.
Call it work-life balance. Call it work-life integration. Call it a Purple People Eater. Whatever you call it, the point here is that you strike it.
And yes, before you defeatedly drop your shoulders and exclaim, “It’s just not that simple!,” allow us to preemptively agree: It isn’t that simple. But it is, however, possible.
So let’s break it down.
At its simplest, ‘balance’ is ‘an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.’ And ‘integration’ is ‘to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole.’
Clear as mud, right?
Trust us – we’re going somewhere with this.
If you consider that when used in conjunction with the hyphenated ‘work-life,’ both balance and integration more realistically and accurately denote the joy and value you gain from each area on either side of the hyphenate for a fulfilling life, as all parts are intended to be blended together for a greater quality of life.
Did we lose you? Let’s try this another way. Consider this impossibly perfect quote from Jae Ellard:
“It doesn't matter what we call ‘work-life balance’ because there is no such thing. Call it work-life harmony, integration, flexibility, flow, work-life fill-in-the-blank.
“What I've learned after eight years of talking about this topic with thousands of people in more than 50 countries is that most people share a simple and similar desire to create easy joy and meaningful engagement between the interconnected roles, relationships and responsibilities that make up their lives.”
See? Call it work-life literally anything. As long as it means that you can earn a fulfilling living while volunteering for your child’s school bake sale committee. Or make it to a weekday baseball game because you can check your emails between innings. Or go on vacation while still being able to carve out time to hop on a quick client call.
Whatever ‘easy joy and meaningful engagement’ looks like to you, as long as you live it, then you’ve struck personal and professional nirvana, regardless of what word sits precariously on the other side of the ‘work-life.’
Work And Life Shouldn’t Be So Hard.
Truth time: Have you ever found yourself wondering …
- What is preventing me from winning at work and at home simultaneously?
- Is work-life balance a myth? Is it attainable? If not, what should I strive for instead?
- What can I do at home and at work to ensure I’m successful in both areas?
- Where do I start? What do I address first and how?
We get it. It seems like a Herculean, near-impossible balance. Much like the Loch Ness Monster or Sasquatch, it’s hard to believe it even exists.
But let us tell you: It does, and you can achieve it. Still not convinced? Need a little nudge, some encouragement, and some tips, tools and tricks? You know we’ve got you.
On the latest episode of our podcast, One Next Step, our esteemed guest Megan Hyatt Miller discussed what one next step you can take to strike work-life balance to successfully win at work and home.
You can do it – and Megan can help!