There are so many places in our lives where I feel balance is crucial. Here are some of the most important in my mind.
- Work and play. We all know the saying "work hard, play hard". That kind of makes it sound like you're half workaholic and half a member of animal house. But truly, our society - in the US especially - pushes work so much more than relaxation and fun. We're expected to be available by email or smart phone practically 24/7. We have 50 or 51 weeks a year of work, and one or two vacation weeks. While I understand that these can't be equal, 51 to 1 seems a bit extreme. Keep in mind, play doesn't have to be party hardy. It can be a round of golf, taking a dance class, a spa day, reading in the park. Anything that's not an obligation and that you enjoy.
- You time and them time. Let me say it now: spending time alone is perfectly ok and in fact necessary. You need time to just spend with yourself. To not have to worry about anything or anyone else, even if it's just a few minutes a day (though more would be ideal).
- Creativity and logic. I don't care if you have a job that you feel is 100 percent logic/fact based. You need, at some point, to let your creativity out. It doesn't have to be a magnificent work of art and it doesn't have to be for anyone to see. But do something, anything, to utilize the other side of your brain.
- Dreaming and doing. Everyone needs to dream. But in order to potentially reach those dreams, you also need to plan, and do. Dreaming is the first step - figuring out what you truly want. Then you also need to be able to move forward towards those dreams.
- Planning and "letting it happen". I'm a planner by nature (and career) so this one is tricky for me. While I believe sometimes the best things happen when you least expect it, if I didn't plan some things (ie what time to get up in the morning, what to work on at work that day), I'd never get anything done. At the same time, you know what they say about the best laid plans... Keeping an open mind, even when you have plans in place, can be the best of both worlds - it allows room for the unexpected, which may turn out to be just what you want and/or need, but it doesn't leave you just floundering there with absolutely no direction.