As 2018 begins to creep to a close and everyone excitedly dusts off their top hats and party horns to ring in the New Year, I find myself reflecting on the past 12 months and looking to the future with new insight and fresh plans. And the majority of those plans center around one thing: balance.
In the past decade, incredible advances in technology—hello, smartphones!—and the rise of flexible work arrangements have made it more possible than ever to establish a healthy work/life balance. If you need to take an aging parent to a doctor’s appointment, or if you want to be there for your daughter’s dance recital, or if you’d simply like to save yourself two hours’ worth of a work commute so you can get crackin’ early or, say, have breakfast with your spouse, you can: by working remotely. The work gets done and you get to experience more … well … life.
But while this never-fully-disconnected world opens up a slew of new possibilities, it also poses some challenges. After all, if we’re reachable whenever, wherever, the lines between “work” and “home” are murkier than ever before. All of a sudden, we’re sending emails at the family dinner table and drafting PowerPoints at 3 a.m. Where does one end and the other begin?
For me, one of the things that has become so important in the past year is remembering and cherishing the concept of balance. I truly believe we are our best selves at home and at work if we fully immerse ourselves in our present endeavors, giving them our full attention, and then knowing when to disconnect. And keep in mind that there’s a difference between balancing and juggling. One of the definitions of the word “balance,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “mental and emotional steadiness.” So balance isn’t just about juggling our various responsibilities, it’s also about nurturing our minds and bodies. Too often we forget to do that.
As a New Year’s resolution, I’d like to schedule in some personal time each day, each week, simply for myself: to read, listen, craft, learn, sing, dance—whatever it is that makes me feel whole, that makes me feel balanced. And then to carry that sense of well-being with me throughout 2019.
What’s are some lessons you’ve learned in 2018, and what do you hope to do more of or differently in the New Year?