I can remember the stress I felt as a third year principal and discovering I was pregnant....with twins, nonetheless. I was so worried that being a female leader with newborns would compromise my credibility and cost me my job.
At one visit to my OB/GYN, I remember her saying, "You're pretty Type A. You need to get over that. You'll never have control again once those babies arrive in this world." And I figured, as a doctor who had been there before with other moms, she knew what she was talking about.
My learning? It's all up to interpretation and she wasn't quite right. Almost 13 and a half years after those two little faces entered my world, and tapping into my Libra tendencies, there is no real sense of balance in life.
As a principal. As a mom. As a community volunteer. As a leader. It's all relative, but there is no real balance that can possibly be achievable in an ever-changing, reactive environment. After all, kids pulling fire alarms, Instagram hoaxes about school shootings, spraining an ankle in a soccer game, projectile vomit, mail being stolen from the mailbox, a flat tire - the best laid plans can go awry.
But....there is hope.
Enter work/life alignment. Alignment is much more about focusing on the aspects of life you seek to achieve and then do something about. Call it prioritization.
Every day is about choices. Do I keep adding to that work "to do list" or do I back off a bit and find time to lessen the burnout that work can bring to take a walk, spend time with an old friend, make cookies from scratch with the kids, and more?
When we feel burnout, its more about an imbalance between our values and what we are choosing to do with our time. Hence, the alignment. And there is no easy answer to how to get it, but start by looking at how you spend your time. Can you have the kids carpool to soccer so you can make a run to the grocery store to hit some of those necessity items? Can you walk at lunchtime at work to get in your steps and connect with a colleague instead of sitting in a room and meeting? Can you balance your checkbook or send some messages to friends and family while you are in the lobby of a doctor's office?
Yes, these are simplistic, but you start to get the idea.
Ready for a little more thought? Because if you started with a full cup of hot coffee, you can't be done just yet. Are you ready to read a bit more? Watch a bit more? Share a little with others? Let's get started.....
* Read it.
This week's article is on this specific topic of work/life alignment. Funny that I found it after starting my thoughts for this week. Its a long one (so two cups of coffee) but it really will make you think (and reflect) a little longer.
And sometimes thinking is good, right? Read HERE.
* Watch It.
This week's video focuses on an interview with Simon Sinek. Not sure about your take on him, but he inspires me. Frequently.
This video is about making good choices and living life more fully, all of which ties into that work/life alignment perspective. It is worth a look...
* Share it.
Can you print these and share them? Notes to colleagues on key topics, such as challenging them to have that balance of work and home, make a huge difference.
Print in color on cardstock….practically free! Here are a few to consider….and to give frequently. It’s up to us to remind others that their balance and/or alignment is very important to personal and professional growth.
See you next Monday!