Take yesterday for example, which was a typical day for me:
5:00 - 7:00 AM Early morning work, return emails, draft contracts
7:00-9:00 AM Wake and dress kids, big breakfast, bus stop and preschool drop offs
9:00-10:00 AM Volunteer at school for PTA
10:00-11:00 AM Meet with a client
11:00-12:00 Pitch a new client, return voicemails
12:00 -1:30 preschool pick up, lunch with 2 y/o that is so messy it requires an outfit change, for me, before my evening event.
1:30-4 Hard at work at the home office, working on a new business development strategy
4:00-5:00 Bus stop pick up, homework with 2nd graders
5:00-6:00 PM Dinner with the boys
6:30-8:30 Networking Event
Let's just say I was exhausted and like every other night this week, was asleep on the couch by 9:15 with a glass of wine calling my name. Except I was too tired to drink it. Feeling frazzled I thought to myself, "wait, don't I own my schedule? I promote work-life flexibility, why aren't I in balance?"
DUH! I am in balance, so perfectly in balance that I didn't even notice it! I am doing work I love, spending lots of time with my family and doing things in the community I love to do, like volunteering at school and playing soccer. But here's the thing, I have a FANTASTIC work-life balance but I still feel crazy, tired and overwhelmed. Balance for me doesn't mean strolling to the bus stop at a zen-like pace, noticing the irises that are just starting to come up. It means jogging in heels coming from the office so that I can get 2 good hours in with my boys before I head back for an evening event.
Thinking back, I had another completely non-obvious balance moment. Right after I went back to work when the twins were born I left my husband in charge of a particularly hectic household of crying, teething newborn twins, arrived at the office, poured myself a cup of tea and plugged in my iPod and thought, "My God, they pay me for this!" The point is, even though I was working full-time outside of the home I had some incredibly peaceful moments.
So the next time you feel out of balance, take a look around. Are you doing the things you want to be doing? If not, how can you make changes in your life so that you can be doing what you want to be doing in a way that makes sense and brings more balance- however it looks- to you?