My #BeReal guest today is Lorrie Hellcat Bamford.
Lorrie is someone I met offline in a ClubFitz class. ClubFitz is an amazing hip hop class with two incredible charismatic and energetic instructors who inspire the REAL in those who take their class. I immediately fell in like with Lorrie and her demeanor.
She has a fire about her I admire. You might remember when she wrote for my bully series HERE.
I love your mind Lorrie.
#BeReal and weigh your options, make the best decisions you can, and exercise confidence doing your best in all things.
Let’s Be Real: The Myth of Work-Life Balance
As a female executive, I’ve read various books and attended seminars and leadership conferences that explore many of the same issues: time management, making your way to the top, handling your emotions, demanding what’s yours, equality, purpose, leadership… and, of course, work-life balance: how do you keep your work life in balance with your non-work life.
As I’ve attended these conferences and seminars, I’ve listened to many inspirational speakers ignite the fire in me to continue on my journey and achieve my goals. We can have it all, right? We can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and well, you know the rest. We can care for and mold our offspring into fully functioning and contributing members of society. We can put on the cape and grab our rope and change the world…. all the while keeping all these things, well, in balance. We can balance work, home life, our lives, our partners, our children, our social calendar, and our community endeavors. Balance.
I might make some enemies with this blog, but I’m here to tell you, I think it’s a bunch of crap. I am here to tell you there is no such thing as work-life balance. Let’s be real. It is, my friends, a myth.
By definition, a myth is a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence. I contend work-life balance is just that. It is an imaginary concept developed to propel us to an unverifiable existence. And I say unverifiable because I have yet to meet anyone who truly achieved this mythical existence of work-life balance.
Think of a scale. No, not the one in your bathroom. That one just makes us cry, sometimes. Think of the scales of justice – held high and even by Lady Justice. We want that scale to be balanced, but if you google that image, most pictures show it uneven: one side slightly heavier than the other. In other images, Lady Justice is blindfolded and the scales of justice are even. They are in balance. Everything is equal.
I dare to suggest that image is not a realistic representation of either justice (a blog for another day) or this concept of work-life balance. Rather, I see work-life balance as another weapon of guilt masquerading as an attainable goal for all to achieve.
When you suggest something, anything, is balanced, it means that one side holds and carries just as much weight as the other side and that it is still, stagnant and not moveable. Life is anything but still, stagnant and unmovable. Life is a series of daily, and most times hourly, decisions.
Sometimes our life scales are just going to have to tip in ones favor at the sacrifice of another. Most times, we are sacrificing the balanced scales in favor of our children. Yet, sometimes, our children will have to sacrifice to tip the scales in favor and protection of our own sanity. We run a delicate line in meeting our needs and the numerous needs of those around us. I’m not just talking to us working guys and gals who work outside the home. No, no. This concept also applies to those who work inside the home. Again, decisions are made hourly. There is no balance. Sometimes it’s a matter of moving some resources from one side of the scale to the other depending on too many factors to list here. Our life decisions are fluid and constantly changing.
There is no balance. There is only movement. There is no balance. There are only decisions that must be made. There is no balance. There is only working in cooperation with yourself and all that is around you.
This is not a contest to see how you can make the most people happy with even- scaled results. This is not a contest to show that you can do it all. No. Let’s be real – some days, the only balance you may find is that no one was injured or killed in the making of your daily and hourly life decisions. You’ve got a lot of material to move between the scales, to keep things moving. We don’t need the added pressure and guilt of not achieving what others have labeled work-life balance. It doesn’t exist, so don’t allow that myth to shape your reality.
The scale is always moving. The decisions keep happening. Life keeps moving. And so do you. Don’t worry about whether you have work-life balance. Your scale is working just fine like it is. Now, go get that rope, cape, and bacon and carry on, warriors!
Lorrie is a lawyer and proud mother of two, living in Deer Creek, Oklahoma, with her husband and two cats. She’s an avid runner and hip-hop dancer. Lorrie’s passion and purpose is to love, learn and be a passionate advocate. You can reach Lorrie at OKHellcat@yahoo.com.
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