Get off the ferris wheel?

The common theme for me recently has been: work/life balance. Chris of course has been my strongest advocate for more balance. Work less, play more. Co-workers, and friends at work, friends outside of work, and family have all encouraged me to take a stand for more balance in my life. It has been something I have struggled with ever since I started my professional life. Yes, there have been ebbs and flows. Times when more is asked of you, and others when you are bored at your job. I always found a way to cope with work boredom – I started my own business. Somehow it was ingrained in me at an early age, work hard, play later.

We are often a product of our childhoods. Sometimes that means we are in a vicious cycle of not repeating the mistakes of our parents and yet we can never seem to get off the ferris wheel. Somehow we are always stuck on the top and never get to get off the ride. I have very vivid visuals of my childhood. There were many opportunities I missed out on because we either could not afford it, did not have the transportation to be able to participate, or had so much responsibility to take care of others in my family, that often there was not time for play. At times I wonder if I worked so hard to never replicate my experience, that I forget that my life is now so far removed from my childhood. So how does someone who grew up in that environment get off that ferris wheel?

Chris and I have talked about this on numerous occasions. He often reminds me that together we have carved out a life that we have made our own. We have been meticulous about our finances, discussed our decisions and choices extensively, and feel confident that we are going down the right path. We have full control on when the ferris wheel stops, but somehow the momentum of all the different responsibilities we have, makes it somehow feel like everything is going so fast it feels nearly impossible to stop, get out, and maybe find another ride.

We tease each other (and maybe at times are more serious than others) that having a kid means getting on an entirely new ride. Maybe babies are not allowed on ferris wheels, and by making the choice to get off and start a family, we forfeit the ability to get back on. Is that true, or is that new ride, even more exhausting (yet maybe more fun and exhilarating)? I am a fan of roller coasters, so maybe starting a family is like that. A long wait, big thrill and then start all over again (just kidding). I think I am getting carried away with the theme park analogies today.

How do you get off that ferris wheel, daily, weekly, monthly? How do you walk away, yet stay connected to what is important? I am all ears for how you maintain that work/life balance. Would love to hear your inspiration, challenges, and ideas!

 

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