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A balanced life…a passionate life

These days my life is incredibly full, crazy busy and scheduled. But I love it! I thrive on it. For me, work and life balance is more of an unattainable illusion than a goal. My goal is a life with me in the center of the equation that is full of the stuff I love to do and the people I love to do it with, and plenty of down time to recharge and prioritize the relationships that are important to me.

I wonder sometimes why society asserts that our goal should be work and life balance, indicating this is achieved by working 9-5 and striving for equal parts work, home life, personal time… That’s not my life, and to be honest, I am not sure I desire it. I lead my life with passion, gusto and the can-do attitude of “what’s next?!” And I love that about me! That said, for far too many years I did this without myself and my needs in the picture…at all. And it just about killed me. I was focused on everyone and everything else and I wasn’t in the equation. So there was absolutely no balance, it didn’t work for me and I wasn’t happy.

But for nearly 1 ½ years now, I have managed to successfully keep Lori in the center of the equation while losing 200+ pounds and still getting an incredible amount of work and living done. I am packing it in and loving life. Indeed, I am happy.

I read a blog recently titled “The Myth of Life Balance” and considered it in the midst of my crazy busy and full life. Its fundamental point got me thinking: Is life balance or work and life balance really the end goal we strive for? Should it be? Perhaps living passionately is a better goal? For me, the definition of a passionate life is very different than that of work and life balance.

In a life of passion, I work hard, play hard, and rest hard – at different times and in different ways! As long as overall I am in the center of the equation, and as long as I am doing things I totally love and with people that I respect and have fun with, well, isn’t that right where I want and need to be? I think so.

So for me, the challenge is not to strive for work and life balance – equal parts home life, work life, social life…but rather to live a passionate life that makes me happy…one that holds me right smack in the center of the equation. It means prioritizing the things important to me, not necessarily others. And it starts with being clear about what I want to do, who I want to do it with, and how I want to spend my time and with whom.

At this stage of the game, there is no question my life includes me in the center. Just like there is no question it will be incredibly jam packed. I will always be a passionate person who tackles life with vim and vigor and that means working, playing, being, enjoying, resting and giving hard/at full capacity. But not necessarily in equal parts on equal days or in the way others might think I should do it. I’m okay with that.

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  1. Julie #

    Have been thinking about these questions ever since I read this post a few days ago: “Is life balance or work and life balance really the end goal we strive for? Should it be? Perhaps living passionately is a better goal?”

    This is especially relevant as I am about to start a new semester of teaching in a couple of weeks!!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts so eloquently, Lori. You truly are an example of “living passionately” and “daring to live greatly”.

    August 21, 2012

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