Pondering the Path

AlyzSE

Work-Life balance seems to be one of those hot topics these days. Particularly over the past 2 years, while the lines between the two seem less defined. I have long struggled with the notion that my career “defined me”, partly because I held some pride in that statement. You see I was raised with the motto, any job doing is worth doing well which I took quite literally. Working has always been enjoyable to me, and when the joy moves away, so have I.

My senior year in high school I worked a co-op job in the counselling office at a vocational education center. The project I was most proud of was a resource manual that would provide our counselling office reference points for students struggling with anything from depression and sexual identity to drug addiction and childhood pregnancy. I quickly found great satisfaction in bringing value and earning dollars rather than a letter on a piece of paper, so much to my parents’ disappointment, I opted not to pursue full time college and instead get a jump start on my career. While this resulted in a 13 year journey to secure a bachelor degree, I likely gained more knowledge and certainly valued the education experience far more this way.

Is anything in life is ever truly in “balance”? I try not to focus on a balance between the time I spend at work versus the time I spend with my daughter, working out or keeping up a household. Instead being fully engaged and giving my all to my focus in each moment. Even when I fold clothes, I like for the seams to match and towels facing the same direction. There are weeks that my daughter requires hours of attention after school to work on projects or to simply vent and tell me about her life and activities; other times, she would rather chat with her friends, draw or read. I’d rather not define criteria of what balance is supposed to look like but instead be fully committed in whatever I do.

My career is part of my identity. My identity is everything that I deem important enough to focus time and energy toward. The realization I have come to is that my identity is a composite of all my actions; what I do, how I perform on any stage, how I treat people as well as the love I give and receive.

If I live my life in a manner that all my actions and interactions define my identity, does that change my behavior in any way?

WHO I AM is how I approach any task in life, big and small, from how I make my bed, to how I run a business or how I spend quality time with Alyza.

WHO I AM is how I care for and treat myself, practicing self care through exercise and nutrition, taking pride in the gifts I have to offer, offering grace and self-forgiveness for mistakes, and loving myself for who I am now and who I aspire to be.

WHO I AM is how I love and treat others, known and unknown. Showing genuine interest and being open to what lessons can be learned through daily interactions.

WHO I AM is how I look for opportunities to give back and to leave this world a better place.

I choose to worry less about balance as that will continue to be a moving target. Instead my desire is to take pride and joy in all that I do, and continue to evaluate my actions based on if they support the identity I wish to create.

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Photo by Alyza LeBlanc

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Lifestyle insights on work, parenting, and relationship balance from the perspective of a business professional and solo parent to an adopted teen.

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