Welcome to the last active week of 52 weeks to simplify your life. I know it has been a long haul and I hope you are still following along and just quiet during this crazy month leading up to the holidays.
As we talk about finances we need to talk about work. When I think about work I also think about the elusive “balance” question. So much has been written recently about whether you can actually have work-life balance, whether it is even something to strive for.
When I looked at “simplifying” life I put this question in the context of what we covered in the first 12 weeks of the challenge.
As always everything comes back to “find your simple” and that is why there is no one answer to this question.
What is balance?
You have to define that for yourself.
To me finding “balance” is not the same as having things equally balanced. It means finding the right levels that work for me and my family.
When things are set at the right balance for you it feels right – needs are being met, money is coming in (the amount you need rather than what others think you need), you can find a sense of satisfaction and breathing room.
When things are not balanced the result is stress, feeling something is missing (for some that might be more time at home and for others it can be more time at work) what is your happy level for each – that is what you need to honor.
While one person is only happy working full time, another needs to work part time.
While one person wants weekends for family time, another needs to spend some time with family, some on hobbies and some time in spiritual pursuits. No way is right – just right for you.
What do you want to do? What are your passions? What work satisfies your needs (can be as simple as a stock filler job at the supermarket bringing in just enough money to lighten the load at home or wanting to study or needing to advance at work to be a manager).
When you know what you need and what you want, then you can look at ways to make it work.
Sometimes that means taking a job close to home that pays less because it means a shorter commute, more family time or the ability to pick up your kids from school.
Sometimes it means taking the job that includes on site child care or flexible work arrangements because that is more important to you than a certain role or salary.
Sometimes it means asking family to help out so you can make a job work for everyone in your family.
Sometimes it means starting over.
Sometimes it means letting yourself work hard because that is what fills you up – and not apologizing for it.
Sometimes it means staying home because that is what fills you up – and not apologizing for it.
Challenge this week: Assess your current work situation (paid or unpaid) and your home life and decide if anything needs to change. Think about what works for you, what matches your values, what will fill you up and meet your needs – whatever they are. Also be clear on what you don’t want. If you go looking for a job you need to know what you will accept and what you will not compromise on. If you are unhappy right now, what is it that is missing?
Find your simple,
Photo credit: Money image from flickr user 401(K) 2012
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