I’ve written about vocations/avocations and the importance of liking/loving what one does for a living and if one does not like what they do for a living, then haveing something in one’s life that one can proclaim ‘passion’….work can only be a small part of a very fulfilling life….however, I do think it is important to be passionate about something….
Work-life balance is important because it affects the well-being of individuals, families and communities. After all, people need time and energy to participate in family life, democracy and community activities. They also need time outside of work for rejuvenation and to develop and nurture relationships.
Workplaces that support employee wellbeing and allow time for employee recovery are part of creating a sustainable workforce where employees don’t become burned-out and ineffective. In contrast to ‘engaged’ employees who display on the job energy, involvement, commitment and a sense of efficacy, burned out employees are exhausted (often physically, mentally and emotionally), cynical (have negative attitudes about the job) and lack efficacy (don’t feel like their job or their efforts matter. Burnout has a number of workplace causes, including work overload (unsustainable workloads with no opportunities for recovery). Other sources include lacking control over your work or workplace, unresolved workplace conflicts and perceptions of unfair workloads, pay or evaluations. In most cases, managers and other organizational leaders have at least some power to prevent employee burnout by addressing these sources. For a business, many times organizational psychologists or organizational development specialists can come in and help….
I did want to address the other side of the issue; when someone is so co-dependent on other individuals that they end up doing so many things for so many people/creatures that they end up not doing their job well of in many instances, not spending the time to look for a job because it is ‘easier’ to become involved in other lives….if you’ve just won the lottery, have a great retirement that you very skillfully planned or if you are independently wealthy, then you don’t need to worry about this from an ‘employment’ perspective, however, too many of us fail to focus on job hunting or on the income that we have because it is easier, more fun, etc. to become involved in something easier or something that we prefer to do other than work for a living….please note that many of us are passionate about things other than our ‘work’…
I truly believe in the circle of life….I’ve written about this before….I believe that there are times in one’s life when one is helping others that need help….be they close family friends or being sympathetic, understanding, or possibly empathetic to another one of God’s/god’s creatures. I also believe that the circle of life represents the fact that when one gives; one receives. I will note that when one needs, it will not necessarily be those that the individual ‘helped’ for those creatures may be in other parts of the world in different stages of their lives or may have even passed. The point is that there will be someone to help….
I recently had an unfortunate accident with my dog …being aggravated by another dog in my neighborhood…I was pulled down, hit my hip, broke it, spent five (5) days in the hospital with major hip repair surgery, spent 10 days in rehab then spent another week at my sister’s home, sleeping on a recliner that she specifically purchased for my recuperation….the people that helped me, came to see me, called me, sent me flowers, brought me food, etc. were amazing….I felt privileged and very special….I feel blessed.
I don’t only ‘write’ my BLOG….I do have a fairly good work/life balance overall…I’m a member off a few book clubs and read at least two (2) or three (3) books a month….not all classics but not your run of the mill ‘best sellers’ either….stories with substance is how I like to refer to them….I have been a member of the League of Women Voters since 1983, holding various state level positions as well as local league positions over the years….at present, I am a ‘worker bee’ and prefer to register voters, as necessary….and it is always necessary. I have lunch/dinner with family/friends at least once per week as well as attend ‘outings’ at least monthly with family/friends. A good deal of my time is spent with my 92 year old mother, taking her on short ‘expeditions’ or to weekly scheduled appointments…
I work for the Voters’ Service bureau two (2) times per year, helping and overseeing the voting process in my county, where needed. I’m a member of my Human Resources and Staffing professional organization as well as a county and municipal business associations and non-partisan, political organizations, where I socialize and plan with other business owners and community members.
I attend church weekly, whether I take my mother to her local Catholic Church or attend the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, of which I have claimed an affiliation since the Sunday after 9/11….through the UU, over the years, I’ve become involved in issues that are near/dear to my heart such as Wage Theft, Economic Development for the lower/working classes, Gun Control (gun sense would be a better term) and Health Care, to name a few.
I live in a 60+ community that specializes in ‘workforce’ housing; most individuals here are happy with their lives and are financially comfortable, even though none are ‘wealthy’ by any stretch of the imagination…please remember that individuals look at ‘comfort’ in various ways. Many of the 37 that live in this nationally dedicated historic school building (built in the late 1800’s) purchased lottery tickets for last night’s drawing. I help those that need help and I look out for a few…I love the feeling that I don’t have to worry about lawns, repairs, etc…..I have beautiful 10’windows and 15’ ceilings, room to cook anything I want and I’m surrounded by family photos and memorabilia of my life…in many ways, I’m content…Oscar and I love it here….
I normally have one (1) or two (2) clients….sometimes three (3) at a time. At this point in time, I don’t think my life is well balanced….I don’t have enough work, the work I have is not challenging and I am saying ‘yes’ to way too many ‘requests’ for ‘help’ when I should be spending my time looking for and participating in more productive and challenging work…as I’ve written before, for me, loving my work is good for my soul.
My pledge for the rest of this year is to spend more time looking for and acquiring challenging work while attempting to balance my recuperation, avocations and family….I’ll do this both prior to and after my cross country trip to and from the Pacific Northwest on Amtrak’s Empire Builder…the oldest train route in the country…my book to read on the ‘journey’ will be Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey by Lillian Schlissel….a wonderful compendium about the lives of the women who migrated across the continental United States from 1840 through 1870 and helped shape our nation. I’ve read this book before and look forward to reading it again while traveling the same route some of the covered wagons passed.
Tips for Living a well-balanced life:
***Take care of and Nurture Yourself. You can’t accomplish anything if you are unhealthy. Get plenty of rest, exercise and eat healthy. Many of us think we can burn the candle at both ends, eat junk food, get very little exercise and still function adequately. You may be able to get away with this for a while when you are young, however, at some point this life style catches up with the best of us. Burnout is real.
***Know what your priorities are. Balance doe not entail cramming in every activity possible. Examine your values and decide what is important to you; then set your boundaries. You may be in the process of building a career, starting a family or going to school Depending on what stage you’re at in life, your focus and energies will be different. Avoid becoming overwhelmed by juggling too many big projects in your life at once. As the saying goes ‘try not to bite off more than you can chew’
***Create an efficient mindset. Be organized and plan ahead. Take time at the beginning of each week to assess what needs to be done. Make a to do list in a planner or calendar for upcoming appointments or meetings to attend. Be sure to allow for recreation and quality time for yourself and your family. Taking the time to connect with family and friends will recharge your batteries and make you more efficient in the long run.
***Expect the Unexpected. Rather than get stressed and upset, learn to roll with the punches when something over which you have no control happens. You could set stuck in traffic, your computer could crash or your child could get sick. Stuff happens. We have all experienced the unexpected. If you accept that anything can happen at any time, it’s less likely to thrown you off your stride when it does. Be able to adjust your game plan. Note also, that there are times when achieving a balance may not be possible. For instance, you have a family or career crisis that needs your immediate and undivided attention. It may require an exceptional amount of your time and resources. When that happens, do whatever it takes and when things go back to normal take time to refresh and rejuvenate yourself.
***Maintain a positive mental attitude. Begin each day with the intention of makint the best and most of it. It may not always go as planned, but it can go more smoothly if you put it in perspective. Part of living a well-balanced life is learning how to deal with adversity, unforeseen events and uncertainty. If you practice not letting things get to you, you will not only learn to life a well-balanced and less stressful life, you will learn to live in and savor the moment. Once you’ve done everything you can without your control, let your life unfold. Be prepared for the future, but don’t worry about it.
As an employee, if you need to develop a better work/life balance and as an employer if you find that your employees are not able to attain or sustain a positive work/life balance while in your employ, please contact Rosanne Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 484-718-3427. Good Luck, enjoy and learn to have fun and relax!!!