Janet Walkow Christine Jacobs

Lopsided or In Balance

          … depends on the timing

Maintaining balance between all of your roles seems to be the great nirvana.: work, family, friends, health, love, hobbies and on and on.  We want them all and beat ourselves up if we are not working in all spheres at the same time.

We want it all. But what if that just is not possible?  What if there are just too many demands and not enough hours?

Can You Have It All?

I have come to believe that you can have it all, but probably not at the same time.  We can lead well-balanced lives in totality but at any one time, you may be leading a very lopsided existence.  And, it may just have to be that way.  Be deliberate and know what you have, where you need to spend your time and make conscious decisions.

At one point, I was a single parent with three children at home.  And I had a very busy career that required travel and long hours.  For many years that was about all I had in my life.  My parents used to laugh that they only talked to me while I was in my car.  Multi-tasking was my middle name and this was the only time I had for conversations.  Many friends saw me or talked with me even less.  Children and career had to be my priorities at this point in my life.  I knew I was lopsided, but it was right.

Making Choices

I know women who have made other choices in their lives.  They tried to add more facets to their very busy existences. I knew, however, that if I tried to do this something more important would suffer.  I had enough guilt on all sides already. My children already felt that I was not home enough.  I did not take all of the trips or attend all of the work meetings my job required.  Add something else? Too hard and not the right priority.

My children grew up, moved away and I left full time employment.  Now the division of my time looks very different.  I have time for exercise and friends and reading and thinking great thoughts.  I travel with friends and philanthropies.  I coach and mentor friends and acquaintances and make time for people I want to see.  I can do that because the other demands in my life are in better control.

It’s All About Balance

The balance is very different.  And when I look at the totality of my life so far and the allocations of my time right now, I can see a much less lopsided existence.  I am moving towards balance across my whole lifetime.

And, that is good.

Is balance something you think about or worry about?  Is it a short term or a long one for you? How do you make your decisions?

Christine Jacobs is an experienced corporate executive and a co-founder of Leading Women. Read her full bio.

Posted on April 25, 2012

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