Too busy to notice the signs your work life balance needs fixing? 

Work/life balance is a common term, but I think it’s a misnomer.   Chances are that most people at work are still living,  although we can all come up with certain instances where there were doubts.  My point is that work is part of life.   When we talk about ‘balance’, the question is really:

Are we getting enough joy out of life?

Over the past few years, my answer was a resounding, “no”.

I had just taken on an incredibly demanding job when I was hit with a series of family tragedies that continued over more than two years.  I was constantly flying across Canada to deal with the family situation, and madly responding to work emails in airport lounges and hospital rooms.  I couldn’t keep up. The signs were mounting that I needed to make a change.

It took awhile, but I finally caught on.   

Yes, there are signs your work life balance needs fixing:

7.  The weekend looks a lot like the week.

When everyone else was saying “TGIF”, I was thinking “WTF”.  Where had the week gone?  Why did I still have so much to do? 

My weekends weren’t much different from my week days, only there were fewer meetings.

6. This is your social life.

signs your work life balance needs fixingDon’t get me wrong.  A Friday night on the couch with these two, a movie and some Chinese food was pretty hard to beat. 

But, after awhile, the conversation wore a little thin.

 5. Your thighs are spreading like butter on hot toast.

Let’s be grateful that I haven’t included a photo for this one.  This is not just some vain lament over the loss of the slender thighs of my youth (well, maybe a little).  It’s a health issue. 

When you can actually see your body changing over a fairly short period of time, and not for the better, it’s a sign.  In the past, I have commented to my athletic friends, who seemed more inclined towards injuries, that no one gets hurt sitting on the couch (or in my case, in front of a computer).  Science has proved me wrong.   Studies now show that extended periods of sitting are, indeed, very bad for your health.

 4.  These are consistently the only food options in your kitchen.

signs your work life balance needs fixing

While these are all fine food groups, I don’t think any of them make the list of foods that 9 out of 10 nutritionists recommend.  

Nonetheless, each of these foods served a purpose for me:  Chips for taste and energy, frozen meals for convenience, and cat food, well, for the cats, the rulers of my household.  I have never actually tried it, although, based on the smell, I have often thought that if you spread it on crackers, it would be indistinguishable from paté appetizers.  This explains two things:  why I don’t particularly care for paté, and why no one ever comes to my house for dinner.

3.  This is your desk.

signs your work life balance needs fixing

This is what filing system break down looks like.  No need to call the hoarding hotline on my behalf.  System restoral is under way. 

2.  Your friends back away when you start talking.

signs your work life balance needs fixing

I thought that when your close friends ask you how you are, you could actually tell them.  I was miserable.  I was awful.  And I would go from zero to raving like a lunatic about it in no time. 

I couldn’t seem to stop myself, even though I could see their eyes darting from side to side looking for an escape route.  Ever so slowly, they would start to back away.  They were afraid of getting my cloud of gloom on them, and I couldn’t blame them.  It may have been painful, but, fortunately, my friends stuck by me.  

1.  You are late for a funeral.

I was that person who thought I could answer one more call before heading to the church.  It left no room for error, and I made one wrong turn on the drive there and then the parking lot was full.   When the deceased arrives before you do, this is a sure sign that your priorities are messed up. 

Yep, this one’s the clincher.  Definitely the signs your work life balance needs fixing.

It’s been a long time coming, but change is gonna come.

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