No more Work vs. Life

Here’s a phrase that I would like to see banished: Work/Life Balance.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for making a concerted effort to identify things that nourish you and then consciously making time to do those things. It’s the implied separation here that bothers me.

If you’re trying balance Work and Life, then built into that phrase is the assumption that those two things are separate – which then logically means that while you’re Working you are: Not Alive.

This is what bothers me. The idea that somehow it’s become normal to think of “Work” as “Not Life”. This depresses me. Anything that we do for that many hours a day, for such a significant percentage of our time, for so many years – I want to be alive during that time. It may take a conscious effort to be sure that I maintain my Alive-ness. I think it’s worth it.

Maybe I’m impatient. Maybe I’m just really practical. But I’m not planning on postponing my Life until later. It’s all Life. And during some of my Life, I’m Working.

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4 responses to “No more Work vs. Life

  1. I think it’s important to flesh out and shed light on nuggets like this which make their way into the collective consciousness out of some sort of convenience. Thank you and good work 🙂

  2. This is a good thing for me to think about because I have been using the phrase myself frequently lately — feeling that my “balance” is wrong. Really I guess that’s the same thing as saying I feel “not alive” most of the time and the cure for that is definitely going to require some approaches to feeling alive while working, not just attempting to stuff “life” into the remaining time. One of a growing number of times I think “thanks for the thought Cianna!”

  3. Thank you both! I’m glad it resonated with you. This is one that’s been bugging me for a little while now.

    Thanks, Shirley. I agree, there’s danger in getting too “convenient” when coming up with phrases to encapsulate larger life concepts. Shortcuts are risky. Thank you!

    Hilary – Your response gave me such an image of cramming life into spaces between other things. Seemed so absurd – and difficult! No wonder we’re all often so exhausted. Thanks for that!

  4. I’ve been thinking of the same thing too lately and I’m glad I’m not the only one! I guess there is no way to separate work and life because work is our current life. It may sound saddening to an extent but if we love our work, then it is not something to be sorry for, is there?

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