I began working when I was around 10 years old at my uncle Harold’s Ann Street Gulf gas station. It was a full service station if you can remember those. I would make a dime for every car that would allow me to take a small whisk broom and sweep out all the floorboards. The thought of work/life balance was a foreign concept to me then.
But over time things changed. I got married and had kids. As an adult I realized the importance of work/life balance. My mentor, Barry, instilled in me that no church was worth losing my family over (I’m a United Methodist minister). I’ve never forgot that. I try to take care of myself physically, take my days off and take all of my vacation time each year.
But over the years I have started to notice a trend in lives that are out of balance. It seems its become a bragging right to note how many hours a week one works. Some seem to wear it as a badge of honor. While burning the candle at both ends, as they say, other things can become just a memory that we can never get back. Often that sacrifice comes at the expense of our health, spouses, family and perhaps the most crucial, our faith.
This out of balance situation is often veiled under the premise that it’s just for a season. Once the season is over things will get better and life will balance out. I’ll get back to my health, spouse, family, and faith. But often this starts to look like seasons in the South. They all start to run together. Before we know it we’ve lost that time that we’d worked so hard for – to be with our kids, families, spouses and with Christ. It’s as though the season never changed.
I recently read an article by Michael Hyatt called – What No One Ever Told You About Work Life Balance. In that post he noted that: 1. Balance is not the same as rest, 2. Balance is Dynamic, 3. Balance is Intentional.
I want to encourage you to get a handle on your work/life balance before the things that matter are a memory and you spend your life wondering what might have been.