Raise your hand if this situation sounds familiar: you’re reading or watching an interview of a successful person in so-and-so industry. When asked about their work-life balance, they reply dutifully how they “have none,” they “never shut off,” are “always working,” they “wish they had more time with their families” and yet still manage to get to the gym, of course, because #priorities. When asked what their New Years Resolutions are, it’s usually to “spend more time with said family” or to learn to “shut off.” Sound familiar, right? You start getting to the point where you assume that, to do great things, you have to be a work-a-holic that just wishes they could find that elusive work-life balance, as perhaps lamenting about this will make you sound a bit less perfect. *Raising hand enthusiastically*
Well, friends, I’ve had enough with this rubbish. I’m here to say that it’s OK to not be a work-a-holic, and yes, you are still successful.
Our society favours success, and I will go out on a limb and say, when our society defines that success, it hones in on two aspects: money and career. It doesn’t act too kindly on other forms of success — emotional, relationship, life fulfillments and adventure-seeking kind of success.
Trust me, I find these two elements a huge part of success, too. I am new-ish a blogger in a highly saturated market, up against those with much better skill and resource than I do. I would be lying if I didn’t associate success with those two aforementioned goals.
Defining my Success
However — and this is something that I fortunately learned very early on — I find some other things equally, if not slightly more, important: time with my husband. Catch-ups with my friends here and far away. Time away from my phone. Time to watch TV and relax. ‘Me’ time of just doing nothing, because I like shutting my mind off.
I, therefore, have never been a work-a-holic. And I will admit, I’ve spent many of my adult years feeling a teeny bit career-worthless because of it. Why did I not feel as ‘motivated’ as I should be? Was I a failure? It took me to meeting Stag to realise what my priorities were, and that so much of this worry came from external expectation.
I will always work hard — and yes, there will be days where I work long hours — but I will also always shut off at the end of a day, and I will always enjoy my regular time off with Stag. And while I am still learning to be more self-motivated, it does NOT mean I am less motivated than others for success.
Both images via Pinterest. Long weekend breakfasts and actually-relaxing holidays: two things us people with work-life balance get to have.
“Hello, my name is Eire, and I am not a work-a-holic”
This post is an ode to those of you who, like me, learned quickly how to achieve this work-life balance, without having to ignore family, friends and hobbies in order to find it. An ode to those of you who have children and want to spend time with them, sacrificing what society deems ‘success’ in order to do so. An ode to those who love travelling and adventure and chose another life path than the traditional. An ode to those of you who won’t put ‘work less’ in their New Year’s Resolutions.
This is not to say that finding success in a career doesn’t take hard work. Of course it does, and this is not meant to be taking away from those who do struggle to not work, or shut off. I am just saying that I am not one of those people; I am not a work-a-holic. Because I will always want to spend time with Stag more than I want to spend time with the blog.
Does that mean I’m doomed to never reach my full career success? Maybe — but I’m OK with that.
5 Reasons Why You’re Amazing Being the Non-Work-a-Holic That you Are
1. Because you take your hour lunch break nearly every day, you get to see sunlight in winter. All your work-a-holic friends are jealous of your tan.
2. You’re only slightly behind in your list of TV to watch, compared to that guy in the office still complaining how he hasn’t seen Stranger Things yet.
3. You had an entirely glorious, wonderful wine-filled 3 course dinner with your significant other without checking your phone. You’ll probably get some tonight.
4. Meditation apps? Pshh, you know how to shut your mind off and not think about work faster than you can say ‘budget report.’
5. You have wonderful relationships with friends and family and don’t take them for granted. 80-year-old-you thanks you for this.
Are you a work-a-holic, or do you feel like you’ve achieved good work-life balance? Do you agree with me? Let’s talk about it!