Almost immediately upon entering mainstream culture and conversation, the concept of work-life balance shifted out of balance. Thanks to technological advances, we've become connected 24/7, which has blurred the boundary between work and personal life. As work-life conflict has intensified, so has our fixation on the idea that finding the right work-life balance is the ultimate solution.
After the birth of my daughter, I quickly returned to work. I spent the entire first year of her life working, traveling and building my business. Caught up in my own busyness and striving to achieve some idealized notion of success I painfully realized on her first birthday that I had few real, joyful memories from that year.
Balance does not exist, at least not consistently. March 20th is the spring equinox. On this day, night and day are exactly the same lengths – 12 hours. Day and night are in perfect balance. This only occurs once again during the year and that is in the fall. The natural world is only in balance twice during the year. In spite of what is very apparent in nature, as a culture we have become fixated on this notion of balance or work‐life balance. Work‐life balance is the pinnacle we are told to strive for in our lives. It offers the hope of eternal happiness. However, no one ever reaches the pinnacle and it is not the source of eternal happiness because work‐life balance is inherently unnatural. It assumes that there is always an equal distribution of time, energy and focus given to work and personal life. This is not true in nature and not true in our lives today.