R E A D E R E X P R E S S I O N S
We Asked: How do you achieve balance between your work life and family life?
Here is what you told us…
Carefully. Fortunately, I have a wonderful, supportive husband who makes time to help me when I am swamped with work. He’ll often drive 10 miles just to have lunch with me, and has supper ready for me when I get home from a long day at the office. In return, I’ve been cutting back on my-eek!-50-plus hours a week at my clinic, and have started scheduling more regular "appointments" with my husband. We have a weekly date night, enjoy leisurely walks each evening, and have started exercising together every other day. It’s a wonderful way to reconnect with my husband, and myself, at each day’s end.
[Managing the time] is not that difficult for me because I do house calls and I don’t have full-time [massage] work. My full-time job is my family, and I do about 10 massages a week. I just kind of arrange my family time to when I’m home. If I [do massage] on Tuesday night, I make sure to do something with my family Tuesday day. [From an energetic perspective] it is draining. I think I don’t do very well at that. I still struggle with finding time for myself. I suspect if I was doing things for myself, if I were receiving more regular massage, that would help.
What balance? Without massage there would be no life for me. Working in a rural area, I don’t have as many clients as when in the heart of the city, but I have kept clients from my earliest year of business. Basically, I let them pick their choice of time and day and I deal with it. Sometimes, I see six people a day and then other days the phone doesn’t ring and I mope and feel lost with nothing to do except clean or go shopping. Historically, I can sort of predict slow times and will schedule my vacation or a new workshop then.
It is a process. Just because it works today, do not get frustrated if you need to tune and fine tune your schedule. Prioritize. What are your goals? Money? Flexible schedule? Home when the kids are home? Time for yourself? Clarify what you want, send it out to the "cosmos" and wait for Providence to fill in your schedule—it works like a charm! When everyone wants massages at home, create symbiotic habits: "I’ll rub your back – if you rub mine." Have a backup therapist that you can give as a referral when someone needs therapy and you cannot provide it. Remember, you always get back what you give out.
I set my priorities. My family helps to keep me grounded and in check with what is important to me. The important thing is for me to listen to the call for that connection. Sure, family is certain to always be there, but like work and career, the connection with family requires reciprocal love, commitment, sharing and nurturing to reap the sweetness and comfort from that bond. It doesn’t have to be anything formal. A call, a postcard, a simple dinner, movie rental or just being together (physical or in spirit) and even doing nothing but watching the world go by—whatever it is, I must connect on some level. Without that, my work life would be an empty vessel.
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