Work Life Balance
This really sounds like a fable or some kind of mythical tale. Work life balance while running a real estate business and having four kids under 6 and being a committed spouse and a good friend/brother/son sounds like a fairy tale of which there can be no happy ending. In this day and age it seems harder and harder to achieve. I have often times found myself beating myself up over this. Do I go on the appointment and forsake time with my kids or do I decline the appointment to spend time with my kids but now I am forsaking a potential paycheck with which I could use to take the family away for some quality time. Is it justified during traditional working but taboo after hours? Where does one draw the line? And you can replace appointment with gym workout, night out with friends, time alone, reading a book, this list goes on. Then there is also the flip side, with people who say "fuck balance", hustle, grind, do what you need to do to move forward and the reward will be worth it. The end justifies the means kind of mentality. I am not sold on that. I love working, I could not imagine not working, but I do love my down time. I love my early mornings alone. Quiet. So, do you seek work life balance or do you hustle and grind until you get to the other side?
I think neither are right and neither are wrong. The reality is we all go through different phases in our lives and we need to adjust accordingly. Some phases of our lives require a greater commitment than other times, some phases require greater levels of discipline, others require more empathy for oneself or for others. I often hear people referring to the fact that time with your family is most important and I agree with that mostly but at some point working and earning a living is putting your family as a priority. If I just hung out with my kids everyday and didn't work I wouldn't earn anything and I wouldn't be able to provide for them. Only you can know where your line is, where the proverbial "balance" should be in your life. When we were getting our real estate business off the ground it required more of us than the business would normally require and we also had to remain cognisant of how much we were working so as to not neglect our kids. Did we always succeed at doing that? Not even almost but we did the best we could and I feel our kids know that and feel loved.
Life will always be a struggle. Some of the times the struggle will be harder than other times. I catch myself beating myself up at times and for no reason, thankfully Lana is quite good at pointing that out. We underestimate the toll that negatively berating oneself can take on ones mental health, sanity and stress levels. It is no good spending a bunch of physical time with your kids if in your head you are some place else. It is ok to put things on the back burner sometimes. It is not just ok, sometimes it is a necessity. This is something I am still trying to learn and it will probably always be a work in progress for me as I expect to go through various up's and down's in work and at home throughout the rest of my life. As I write this it feels like I am shining a spotlight on my control issues, that I always need to have an answer or a solution, even though I know, in reality, I do not need to. It is ok for things to simply be how they are, good or bad. Sometimes simple acceptance of what is, is all that is needed and the balance will follow.
For me, it comes down to learning to not be too hard on myself. I am not a perfect parent and never will be, and that is ok. I don't need a work life balance, I need a self awareness and an awareness of where I am needed most at that time and place in my life. Somedays I need to work 15 or 16 hours for the sake of our business or for the sake of our family and some days and can play hookie and skip work for the day. I figure there is balance in there somewhere and I can make that work for me, our business and our family.