A Balanced Life: Reality or Illusion?

By George McLaren

You must have heard the clichés repeated many times over. “There’s no rest for the wicked, (or the righteous, for that matter),” depending on the degree of fondness ascribed to the subject. Or perhaps, “Time is money”. Still, another says, “No romance without finance”. My personal favourite goes something like this: “Life is hard, and then you die”. Looking beyond the ominous forecasts of doom which is common to these clichés, an identifiable theme arises which holds some semblance of truth. The common thread seems to indicate that although financial reward generally comes at the expense of time sacrificed, most will inevitably conclude that it is just not worth it.

Work: An Occupational Hazard
Lawyers are not the only professionals who experience time management conflicts http://www.cba.org/cba/practicelink/bwl/caseschoas.aspx. Every professional with a demanding job will attest that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to remain on top of their game while meeting the demands of competing interests. And just in case you think juggling the demands of work and family responsibilities is the ultimate challenge for any professional, try adding other commitments to the mix like religious obligations, school and community involvement for a crazy concoction.

Religious Demands as a Competitor
My colleague belongs to a religious group that requires strict time adherence. The Sabbath, which is the observance of the seventh day of the week as holy time, plays an integral role in his religious belief. The Sabbath commences at the setting of the sun on Friday evening and ends at the same time on Saturday evening. No secular work or activities is allowed during these hours. Although Sabbath strictly means rest, he assures me that he gets less rest on Sabbaths and has fewer opportunities for family time during these hours than any other time during the remaining days of the week because he is actively involved in the church work. He effectively has six days each week to accomplish the secular stuff that most do in seven.

Something has to give
Yet another one of my colleagues is heavily involved in community development while he studies full time with a part time job. His balancing act is pretty good for the most part but he suffers fatigue from the sheer volume of hours he puts in each day http://www.cba.org/cba/practicelink/bwl/balance.aspx. He has become an absentee husband and father to his three year old, while still living at home.

What then?
There is no panacea to the dilemma; no quick fixes; no ‘one size fits all’. We must each make the best use of the tools relative to our individual circumstances http://www.slaw.ca/2009/07/11/the-tyranny-of-performance/. If family ranks in priority to your other interests, consult family members on decisions that will affect the family unit and constantly evaluate whether your present course of action is yielding the desired results. Alternatively, decide earlier on whether work will trump all other interests and pursue your ambitions rigorously. No man can serve two masters. The balancing act may just be an illusion

About the Author

Paralegal Student
Communications Students.

1 Comment on "A Balanced Life: Reality or Illusion?"

  1. Michael Yen | June 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm |

    Indeed. What pulls at us? Different masters, and absolutely many times it feels like “Life is hard, and then you die”.
    However, keep your head up, keep working and stride towards the horizon. Being “tired” is only in your head. Like my brother-in-law says when I state how tired I am, (father to 5 kids, compared to my 3)
    “Man, you don’t know what tired is.”

Comments are closed.