Recently, at an EDGE 3 retreat, David Graham had us plot our lifelines. It became obvious that all our lifelines had one thing in common – we all had major dips countered by an equally large upward swing. There were times we were winning, and times we felt we had lost. Our lifelines resembled a rollercoaster rather than the smooth, balanced line we had all hoped for.
Over the years, I have worked tirelessly hoping that someday I would have a fabulously balanced life, and come that day, I would be truly happy. There have been fleeting moments when I felt like I had finally arrived – a good job, financially stable, great life and lots of time. And then life would throw me a curve ball and I would be back riding life’s rollercoaster fearing the unexpected turns ahead. I started to think that life was never going to hand over everything, at least not all at once. I mean, who really has it all? And so the constant struggle to achieve a perfect life balance felt daunting, and at times I started to question if the theory even applied to me.
It was during a time when a work-life balance was just not possible that I adopted a perspective that worked for me. Instead of expecting life to hand over the whole pie, I learned to accept the slices life was offering at that particular moment.
There was a time I worked ridiculously hard to achieve a dream, working multiple jobs just to make my dream of having a wonderful life, come true. I had little balance, but who cares, it wasn’t about balance, it was about achieving the dream. This crazy period of hard work was followed by a whole year of unemployment. Time was more abundant, but money was tight. My husband had the foresight to suggest we take the opportunity to travel and tick off a dream on our bucket list. We were fearful of the insecurity, but traveled anyways.
The week following our return I got a new job and since then work has once again become intense. I also find myself going through a period of extreme personal growth. I am, and will remain forever grateful for my husband’s ability to see unemployment as an opportunity to travel. If we had waited for that perfect moment when time and money intersect, we probably would never have gone.
So I ask, is life really about balance or is it about acceptance? Ups and downs are inevitable. Perhaps we need to embrace the moment, look for an opportunity within that moment, reframe our perspective, and harness the real potential that the moment is offering.
Cherith Sinasac is an environmental professional who is deeply passionate about nature and exploring the great outdoors. A self-discovery and fitness fanatic, she continues to be deeply curious about how each of us can reach our full potential.