Off Balance

A few weeks ago, I was on fire. I had just re-launched our Smile Minded Smartbits blog with a series of posts. These posts were an outgrowth of a survey I conducted of non-profit and agency leaders I know and have worked with as a consultant and as a community volunteer. The blog was starting to pick up steam, particularly on LinkedIN with a growing readership that had a reach beyond those in my circles.

Work with clients was also picking up with new projects and strong conclusions to projects wrapping up. I had shifted more of my attention to how to build Smile Minded as a strong resource both online and face to face.

Then life hit. First, the time table on travel with my high school daughter to explore potential colleges moved up when there was an opening in my client schedule of meetings and deadlines. My daughter was sick during the trip so naturally the upper respiratory infection hit me shortly upon return. A few days later, my son lost a dear friend to suicide. My priorities shifted.

Many of us struggle with what we have come to term “work-life balance.” It was one of the many issues that kept those non-profit and agency leaders I interviewed up at night. It is one of the issues I am asked about by both beleaguered leaders who have worked in their respective field for decades and younger leaders who are just hitting their career stride. Whether you are a parent, married/partnered, or single. Whether you are in your 60’s or 20’s, you have faced at some point priorities that seem to compete with work. Work-life balance (and the debunking of it) are popular search terms in Google and there are hundreds of articles, Ted Talks, and books addressing language and models around work-life balance. Grappling with our competing priorities is a part of our modern world.

I lean toward envisioning life as a process of ebb and flow. In a few weeks, this blog will continue the exploration of collaboration, but we will also look more closely at the myth of balance and some ways to deepen our understanding of and align our lives to match what matters to us as individuals, organizations, and communities.

In the meantime, take a moment today to breath deeply and notice five things. One for each of your senses. What are you seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting right now? Be present for just this moment. In doing so, your next few moments may be just a tad easier.