I think most of us are in pursuit of the perfect work-family-self balance. But even though I made it my mission almost six months ago, balance seems to be even further from my reach than ever.
BY WAY OF BACKGROUND
If you haven’t followed Equilibrio since its start you may not know that it was borne from my frustration of living an unbalanced life. I had been in the corporate world for a long time and had had enough. I then quit my job to “think”, but after a year still couldn’t decide what my next move was. I felt I needed to live a life between the boardroom adrenalin junkie I was, and the pyjama sloth I had become.
Finally, the concept of Equilibrio was borne and I was so excited about it, that I spent three days without sleep, designing a logo and learning how to build a website via YouTube. Equilibrio (which means balance in Italian) is part of my mission to lead a balanced life with a fulfilling career, time for my family and care for myself.
(RELATED POST: read my very first letter to readers here.)
BALANCE IS FURTHER FROM REACH THAN EVER
Almost six months down the line I look back at Equilibrio and what it’s become. Shortly after it was launched, Jill joined me, and together we’ve built a publication we’re both proud of. We try to write quality content almost daily, supporting South African business as much as possible, and are in the process of putting an e-commerce strategy in place (yes, we need to make a little money at some stage).
I’m passionate about Equilibrio, it’s about everything I love. We research and write about stuff we’ve always wondered about and I constantly need to learn new tricks to keep the website current.
But I’m sleeping on average 4-5 hours a night (sometimes 2), my husband is fed up with me always having my face in my laptop and although I’m working from home, I’m around, but not present for my 5-year-old daughter. I’m failing at my mission for balance.
WE’RE OFTEN OUR OWN WORST ENEMY
With no boss to impress and no one looking over my shoulder to deliver a task, there’s no reason why I need to push this hard. The problem is that, without office hours, I’m always working. I never pack my briefcase and leave work behind like I did in the past. Jill and I are both hell-bent on achieving goals fast – a positive thing in many ways but a bad thing for finding a work-life balance.
MAYBE IT’S A PROCESS
At present I feel I’m not spending enough time with my family and not looking after myself. I sleep too little, feel unfit and never take any time off. But at the same time, with bloodshot eyes and a smile, I feel exhilarated about Equilibrio and what it may become. I’m ticking the boxes of feeling happy in my career (I can’t call it a job because it feels like an extreme hobby), feeling motivated, and being passionate about something again. I’m finally tapping into my creative side and am better at many things than I thought!
So, maybe I need to forgive myself for being imbalanced for now and start seeing it as a process. I remain “in pursuit of balance”, but I need to understand that building Equilibrio to where Jill and I want to take it, will take time and a lot of effort. That the first year or two of a new business can be tough. Maybe I need to pat myself on the back that I was finally brave enough to create and do something that I love, and that I need to keep trying to achieve the balance I set out to achieve. Maybe it will never come, but beating myself up about it doesn’t help either.