Balance is a very common word for not just the “Word of the Year” but also New Year’s Resolutions, commitments after women’s conferences, topics of books. Often when we talk about balance, we mean to try to find a way to take everything that we are doing, interested in, committed to, etc. and make it work in a way that doesn’t cause us stress.
The intention is usually not about giving up anything, but instead finding a way to keep doing it all but more efficiently. We don’t want one area of our life to take up more time or attention than others. Or, we may even confuse balanced with off balance. I mean that we may use this term incorrectly to describe a feeling of balance even when the cards are not. It’s sort of like playing jenga, moving bits and pieces around where it appears to be balanced… but one false move and the whole thing topples over.
When people say that want balance, they really don’t want equity of all things in their lives. Few people will say that they want to spend equal time with family and at work, but instead really intend to spend more time with family and less at work. They claim a desire to strike balance, but that’s not balance.
This begs the question, if we are using the word incorrectly… is balance really something we want? Or, is there a better word for it?
If you are curious, ask some questions like:
- What does balance mean to me?
- How does being balanced make me feel?
- Is balance what I desire, or is the feeling I really want?
- Is there a better word to describe that feeling?