I was reminded recently about the amount of time that many of us now spend at work and as I get older I become more aware of the time spent at work versus home/friends/family time and trying to come up with the right balance for both.
The demands from work get more and more and learning where to draw the line is sometimes a real challenge as we become more accessible even in our down time with access to work email at home and the ease to get back to people and connect with them on work issues when we should be focussing on our relationships, our family and our friends. I have come to the realisation that it is so easy to be consumed by these demands and now try not to look at and respond to emails when I am not working and to try and get some real sense of balance happening in my life again.
Sometimes it really is very easy to see a blurring of boundaries in terms of time spent and we all want to do our best at our jobs but do we do that sometimes to the detriment of our personal relationships? I think that the answer to that question is a resounding yes! Not that that is the case for all of us. I think many of us are also becoming aware of the importance to have clear lines between work and home and to try and get a balance happening to allow us to be more happy and fulfilled human beings.
One thing I am sure of is that I do not want to get to the end of my life and not done and experienced things in my life outside of work that I want to. As you know from my blog I love to travel, love dining out and love fashion…and have to have the time to enjoy all three. Whilst I also love my job and am aware to do the other 3 I need to work to be able to afford them, I have now started to really balance these 2 areas of my life.
This has involved committing to head to the gym to keep up my fitness level when I have planned to do it, to making time every week to have quality time with my grandsons and experiencing the joy of seeing their smiling faces and sharing new experiences with them and to being able to sit and be with my partner and talk about what we are doing together, plan our next trip and look at which restaurant we next want to head out to.
We have started taking our grandsons to the beach each weekend for a few hours to play and build sand castles and swim in the ocean. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing their faces light up when you walk in the door to pick them up to take them out to the beach and the squeals of excitement that you get when the first see the beach from the car when you turn that final corner in the road! This is time that I have come to really love and enjoy and something that I always find time for.
My middle grandson – Mr Cool
Recently after dropping our eldest grandson home after a sleepover my middle grandson wanted me to do some jigsaws with him in the room his Mum and Dad have set up for the kids in their new home. So onto the floor we went doing jigsaws, playing with trains and building with blocks. These are the real joys in life and they keep me grounded and balanced and there really is nothing better than spending that quality time with them and seeing their faces as you play, enjoy, listen and engage with them on their level.
Quality time with my grandsons!
Then there is travel and the joy of exploring new places and heading off for new experiences. We really live in a world where reaching places is so easy and having new cultural experiences all adds to giving a real sense of the world we live in. Taking time out to head off to another country and to totally immerse into the culture, whether it is meditating at a Buddhist temple, taking a cooking course in Singapore or exploring a theme park in Los Angeles are all things that I love to do and allow me to truly switch my work personae off and concentrate on the experiences at hand. This has not always been easy or possible but I have worked hard to achieve it as I really want my down time to be my time and to be able to give 100% to the people and the things that I am doing without worrying about deadlines and what the next day at work will hold.
Thank goodness that I found meditation a number of years ago because this has allowed me to focus, relax, remove myself and stay centred on the important things and it has also allowed me to stay positive about what really is my life and the direction I want it to take.
I think that we all need to sometimes stop, reflect and allow ourselves to have the down time we need and to look at how we can all get our work/home balance right. I think all the people in your life will really appreciate it!