Ever heard anyone talking about work/life balance? Use the word “balance’ when it came to describing how to multi task and juggle multiple things?

I cry fowl on balance.

I think the concept of balance is a load of ____________. When I watch someone walk across a balance beam, I often see them stumble. I see them just make it by. I see them fall. Very few people have perfected balance.

I recently read a book Your Fully Charged Life: A Radically Simple Approach to Having Endless Energy and Filling Every Day With Yay by Meaghan B. Murphy. Murphy has a philosophy that I found quite refreshing. Though Murphy has a time consuming job and a family, she doesn’t praise balance as her mantra. She is a fan of the word SYNERGY.

Synergy allows for separation and the combining or sharing of resources or elements when doing so adds even greater value. That’s what I strive for; I want different parts of my life to understand the others so they can cooperate, not only play together in the same orchestra.

Meghan B Murphy

Synergy more closely describes the very intimate dance that all the parts of our world must do to coexist. Sometimes your kid can’t be sitting on your lap while you are in a meeting. Sometimes you can’t have a conversation with your Mother’s doctor while you’re at your kids soccer game. You have to be able to give each task full focus. You can’t always multi task. And everyone in your life needs to understand the boundaries that are in place.

I know it’s hard to have kids and parents and spouse and job and household responsibilities and friends and hobbies AND take care of yourself.

Yet- we must.

We can delegate and outsource, but sometimes it gets overwhelming. We need to figure out how to make our lives go as smoothly as possible. We need to find the right combo.

I think synergy is the answer, but what do you think? Synergy? Harmony? Or are you a balance person?

How do you get by?

73 thoughts on “Balance is Bull

  1. As you rightly said it’s not possible all the time to multi task but in the last year and a half there’s been so much to do all the time!! You need to let go some weight to make sure you don’t fall flat on your face. I won’t say balance is the key as you can be equally happy by choosing either work or home. And you can be happy with whatever way you divide your time between the multiple things. But it’s important to be aware of what you’d like to do and how much of it. It should be you who needs to pick which things you want to do and what you want to let go.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We live in an age where people do too much and are expected to do too much. It’s not a problem of balance when the load is too great but rather a misconception that if we drop something we too will fall.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Balance works for me. I keep my life simple and do one thing at a time at a turtle’s pace. I’m not sure that I understand the concept of synergy as applied here. I’ll have to read the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think balance is the right word but I hear what your getting at. Balancing itself is a tricky act to get right. Most of us do stumble and fall, barely making it across the finish line. Often I think finding “balance” is about better prioritisation. Most of us have more on our plates than we can ever hope to cope with. If you can learn let go of the stuff you don’t need to, that helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Meh. It doesn’t really exist, does it? But theoretically I like the word balance mostly because I am a Libra and this is what I need. Equilibrium.

    They turned this work/life balance thing into a marketing stint. As much as I like planning out things so I can maintain some sort of balance, the family pushes back which makes the whole exercise null and void. So all I can do to maintain MY balance is to leave what doesn’t serve me in any given moment and keep what does, on a day to day, sometimes hour to hour basis.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So what I’m hearing/reading so far in comments is that the important thing is learning to say no, let go and change our perceptions of perfection. We live in a comparative, competitive world and seem to be educated to strive for success in every way. Societal expectations rule us, at least for most much more than simple logic surrounding the expectations we put on ourselves, or allow to be placed upon us by others.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great abstract of the comments! I think tater stated it very well, that balance implies that all things have equal weight when in reality they don’t. Sometimes children must come first, sometimes work, something household, etc….

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Hate to sour note, but “That’s what I strive for; I want different parts of my life to understand the others so they can cooperate, not only play together in the same orchestra,” sounds symphonically atonal and life coach sophomoric to these old ears.

    Running out of time, I do what I have to do, only when I have to do it. Now an old school fool, I plain in stereo, execute in mono, all the while attempting to stay in tune with our trying and cacophonous time.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well, I understand what you’re saying. (Kudos to keeping your comments in sync with music reference) but I think tater said it well…all things in our lives are not weighted equally, and priorities must sometimes shift…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I read something about this but now I lost it and it is causing me stress. Should I stop reading or just plan, maybe to keep things simple and down to earth? I don’t want to have to read the book.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I hate multitasking, and balance is something I can only daydream about. All I can do is try the best I can. But if I hope for some perfect balance between both, I’d need a lot of help.
    Maybe I’m just a pessimist.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I view it more as managing polarities, which, for me, means seeking solutions that are “both/and” rather than “either/or.” It allows me to be open to possibilities and focus on what’s most needed at the time, without closing doors on other pathways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The problem is, sometimes things do need to be either or. My dog is at the groomers right now. She was more knotty than usual and will take longer to groom. Problem is I have a Doctors appointment at the same time the dog will be ready. How do I get the dog when I must be somewhere else at the exact same time? Now, sure, I could have made sure she was better brushed, or had a different groom appointment or doctors appointment, but sometimes things don’t always Aline. My dog will need to wait at the groomers which is anxiety ridden for me, and the groomer doesn’t like it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This would be a good opportunity to recruit a synergistic team!

        I agree with many of the comments, especially those from women, that balance is a marketing concept imposed on us by others that is more often than not unattainable in real life.

        MS Word’s thesaurus provided these suggestions for synergy: interaction, cooperation, collaboration, working together, combined effort, concerted effort. Especially when you need to multitask, which it looks like in this instance you would, synergy, if you can create it, looks like the way to go. Good luck with that!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. You know how much I enjoy a good self-help book, but you lost me at the word YAY in the title (KIDDING.)
    For me, it was about letting go rather than juggling. Saying no to obligations and people and STUFF. The pandemic taught me this lesson, I can’t take credit for it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’ve always been a lone parent and had to develop skills in order to handle all the different strands of my life. For example, I didn’t always prioritise family over work, as not all family things needed to be done by me and, without my job, we didn’t have a roof over our head. It’s not been an easy line to walk, but it can be done. Even now, I’m pretty overloaded much of the time. So I focus and refuse to be distracted by other stuff, until & unless I decide it’s a higher priority. It does take defence of boundaries, but it’s do-able.

    Synergy sounds a lovely idea, but unless there’s some magic sauce in the book as to how you achieve it, I can’t see how it’s any more achievable than balance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think balance, as tater put it, implies everything is equally weighted, when it isn’t. Sometimes you need to make something a priority. Sometimes job must come first…there’s no balance if you must attend an extremely important meeting at the same time as your kid has a thing at school for example. Synergy means your kid understands this, etc

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I don’t have different areas of my life pulling me in different directions, I’m grateful. But that only happens if I’ve set boundaries and am prepared to defend them. Even then, I know there are certain people who believe they have the right to ignore boundaries and will hammer at them until they get a response.

        The point is that while synergy can happen, it is not something any individual can control, as there are too many other parties involved. Instead, my ethos is to do the best I can, accept what I can’t control, and to enjoy the days when everyone plays nicely. There’s a lot to be said for the serenity prayer 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve always multi-tasked when I have to. I’m dedicating time to me each day and figuring out what I want to do with it. Unfortunately there lots of pesky things that need to be done, too. I don’t try to balance anything. I work on my list and get through the day.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Multitasking is for people who are satisfied with mediocre outcomes. Do one thing at a time and do it well, I say. Balance is a meaningless term in my life, except as in walking or riding a bike!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Love that book! The author lives in our town and is truly inspirational. I think striving for balance is setting ourselves up for failure. As a working mama of three daughters, I simply cannot balance it all. Trying to balance everything is impossible; it also implies that everything carries equal weight. Your post is about everything I am currently struggling with right now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The equal weight concept…thats it exactly. Sometimes you must give something more weight. I don’t think balance exists except in the world of marketing. FYI…love her so much I now subscribe to woman’s day…book is awesome

      Like

  16. I wake up. I start doing things. I finish doing things. I fall asleep. Sometimes the order alters a little. No multi-tasking, no balance, no synergy and, most importantly, no self help books. Yet things still get done.

    🙂 Relax . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I have a completely different answer to this question today than I would have had on Friday. On Friday, I would have told you I have this pretty well figured out. My life (felt) all of the big pieces of it were running smoothly (work, family, hobbies, other relationships, etc) and I could have told you how I was pulling it off. Saturday night, we got a phone call from one of our kids, asked if they could move in for a few days with 4 grandkids.? Yep, that’s what family is all about. They just left a couple of hours ago. Totally upset the apple cart of my well organized life. I have no idea how homes where the grandparents suddenly find themselves back to taking care of little ones long term. It has gotten easier the older I’ve gotten to tell people no, take naps without guilt, etc. etc. but all bets are off, when life throws us a curve ball. Sometime it does come down to just surviving another day..

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I like pleasure to follow pain. I reward myself after finishing a task by relaxing with a cup of coffee! I try and keep the pattern going all day, not always coffee but maybe a chat with my sister. 💕C

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Multitasking is overrated and leads to stress. Mexicans have an interesting approach to life that works for them. Family is the most important, friends are next, and jobs are last.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Is a great question; I completely agree with the concept balance; and I quite like the synergy approach…I’ve had many people say, “you work too many hours,” and I’ve also had people say, “how do you spend so much time away form work,” for me, it is about being engaged, really engaged, in all areas of your life. Living the fullest life possible. Sometimes this looks like working 70 hours a week; and, at other times, it looks like taking a trip out of the country for 2 weeks….the concept balance is outdated….

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I absolutely agree, balance to me infers a serene happy life divoid of any worldly problems (bs), whereas for us mere mortals living is drama, crisis management and getting through the day unscathed.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Whatever happened to just living life as we go. I just mean that people are making us “over think” every aspect of life, ie balance of life, intermittent fasting (isn’t that we normally did, but didn’t MAKE SURE we were ONLY eating within an 8 hour period – LOG)… I MISS the days of visiting our grandparents where we just lived life, had fun, etc. Did not OVER THINK everything….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well yeah…we are always trying to be better, stronger, faster…you can blame Darwin on that one. Personally, and I’m stating that I loved my grandmother dearly, but the weekly dinners when I was growing up did not serve me well, nor do I think they served any member of my family well…i made sure as a parent that we did not repeat that pattern

      Liked by 1 person

  23. As I sit here with a summer cold, I don’t have any balance in my life right now. My house is a wreck, work has suffered and I have zip for motivation. I believe multitasking is vastly overrated because nothing gets complete focus from beginning to end. I’ve been guilty of being too proud of my multitasking in the past. But there was little balance. I felt like I was living hand to mouth with everything I was responsible for and nothing got done very well. Maybe it’s all in the definition of *balance.* Balance=equal distribution of something to produce steadiness and stability. This is the antithesis of multitasking. I actually like this definition better: Balance refers to an individuals ability to maintain their line of gravity … forces are cancelled by each other resulting in a stable balanced system. Perhaps there needs to be more canceling of *forces* in order to become more stable! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think tater said it well….balance implies all things receive the same weight. And we know, there are times when one thing simply outweighs the other…it’s a flawed concept to think we can give the same amount of energy to everything we do

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Hmm, let’s see…At present, I have an 86 year old father being hit on by a 31 year old predator. They plan on marrying. My brother is mentally ill (schizophrenia), my husband was forced onto retirement (and I worked with him) so I, too, am without employment, I have major health issues, I have a son with autism who has daily meltdowns, we’ve gone through our retirement, stuff in our household keeps breaking down…(repairman for the fridge is here as I write this), well, you get the idea. I don’t remember a time in my adult life when it was less intense, which is one of the reasons two doctors say my health is diminishing. How do I deal with this? Prayer, screaming, humor; rinse, repeat. The doctors can suck it. Neither yoga nor the serenity prayer can fix the different stresses of my life. Forget balance or synergy. Forget therapists, too. Wait, what was your question?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First off…I’m thinking of you as you try to navigate all this! Secondly…I’m still stuck on the 31 year old mooched….OMG!

      Like

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