The tendency of the body to seek and maintain a condition of balance or equilibrium within its internal environment, even when faced with external changes.Wikipedia** defines it as: "... the property of a system in which variables are regulated so that internal conditions remain stable and relatively constant."
That singular word got me rethinking, What is balance really about, and why do people/you want it?
It's a concept with different sides to it.
Stability: Finding peace, or being at peace with yourself.
The flip side: Need a shake up sometimes, when you encounter a comfort zone.
Success: This one is tricky, as it can be easily misrepresented or mistaken for the similitude of riches, i.e. appearance and vanity.
What I know: Stay true to yourself. The measure of success is not external. Own your truths, and enjoy your life's marathon.
Degrees of boundaries: The extent to which you (decide to) integrate or separate your life outside of work, with/from your work.
My two-cents: Network when you can. Make yourself priority, and for me that's really about understanding my vocation and my avocation. Not trying to catch up with your self as a result of misplaced priorities. Harnessing your personal power to live your best life.
The term 'work-life balance' is a concept with more than one interpretations, and for the purpose of this post, the context here is with regards to a woman who fits a particular mould. The shining star who runs the world, hers and yours i.e. running the show at home and at work. She's ideally a c-suiter, or c-level executive, typically a fly wife to a trophy husband, and probably a trophy mum to some ivy league children. Don't overthink it, you get the gist. She's a role model to other women, as she is one of the few with a complete story. Complete, she has it all.
Indeed, when I was a child, I thought like a child, and here I am trying to trace my first encounter or exposure to this perspective. This idea of balance made sense to me as a teenager, somewhere on the verge of transitioning into a young adult. I always admired strength and respected success, and whenever I saw those qualities in a mother figure, it served as some kind of validation for me. Yes, you can be that. In no time, I was charting my path, finding my own mentors and sitting at their feet, drinking in all they were offering, which was great for a young girl. They were strong women who were really looking to give their best at work, and give their best at the home front. However, looking back now, I can say that there were things that needed to be filtered, like misconceptions about success and ambition. And missing parts about being complete. And balance.
This is a flawed philosophy because no one is perfect. If these 'balanced' people are real people, then hearty kudos to them. By all means, everyone should aspire, and stay inspired by success stories. But let's check these contorted views of success. Those ones that seek to discredit, the ones with lousy stereotypes that tag a story as incomplete, or not worth telling if she is not "running" the show at work so to speak, or does not have kids, is divorced or unmarried. What if she was not even "corporate" to begin with. How about how she's really doing? The state of her health? Is she happy? Is she fulfilled? If this is the balance, I don't want it.
These days when I think of my balance, I think of fulfillment with a hint of hedonism. Eating, reading, traveling, like my profiles say, and really just getting on with my self-development and reveling in the pleasure of personal mastery. Happy to say I fixed my mindset early enough. If you're challenged to make yourself at least 1% better than you were yesterday, that already disrupts the balance model. I'm easily merging three separate discussions into one, so I'll wrap up my rambles with this. Enjoy the party of your life, and commit to being the best version of yourself. And then maybe we could get a conversation going about imbalance. Cheers, you rebel! :)
*"homeostasis". The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. 17 May. 2016. <Dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/browse/homeostasis>.