Writing is the perfect metaphor for life in so many ways and when it comes to finding our flow, especially so. Writing relies on rhythm rather than balance and that’s a good guideline for life too.
How often have you heard that your life needs balance? Particularly a ‘work-life balance’ (as though work is not part of life). A quick internet search will reveal hundreds of blogs devoted to the quest for balance, promising such things as:
how to establish the perfect work-life balance through setting healthy boundaries
while another urges employers to ensure that their employees have:
a satisfactory work-life balance
Intriguing that the first, aimed at those taking control, goes for ‘perfect’, while employees get ‘satisfactory’. But the message is consistent: balancing is an essential skill that you neglect at your peril. Is this the case? Is life a tightrope walk?
It doesn’t have to be. The idea of balance assumes that there are a lot of equal calls on us and we should be treating each to the same time and attention. But life is much messier and more interesting than this. And it can be much less stressful. Remember:
You can do anything, but not everything
Follow your quest
Life is too short for ‘to do’ lists. We need quests. And If you have purpose then work life and personal life begin to integrate as part of a whole, rather than being warring factions.
If you have work that energises you rather than drains you, the idea of striving for balance is unlikely to occur.
If you are a writer and have the luxury of writing for weeks or months as your main activity, you’ll be ecstatic, but you won’t have balance.
Great artists and musicians are rarely balanced — they put as much time as possible into their art.
Attend to where you are
In Your To Be List, James McMahon and Lauren Rosenfeld aim:
To be engaged at whatever I am doing, whenever I am doing it. What I do wholeheartedly energizes me, no matter what that is. It is only when I get into the pattern of getting through one thing in order to get to the next thing that I feel exhausted and overwhelmed.
When we live in the moment and pay attention to the project we’re working on, the food we’re eating, the book we’re reading, the person we are with … we’re more fulfilled and less stressed. But it isn’t balance: it’s savouring one thing at a time.
Get into flow…
I hope you will continue reading on Medium