Sink or swim? Work/life balance: Is it a myth?

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I swam the best that I have swum in a long time this morning.  My coach was more excited than me.  She couldn’t help but comment on how great I have been doing of late.  I said to her: ‘well actually I just realised last week that I have been swimming every single morning since Christmas Day last year when the pool was closed.  I’m looking forward to my day off next Friday when it’s closed again for Easter.’  ‘Wow!’ my coach said. ‘That’s a real achievement, you should be proud of yourself!’  She went on to ask me if it was something that I had planned.  I thought about it for a moment and I told her that when I decided to start T One P Enterprises last year, I decided that there was going to be more time for ‘me’.  And so it has been, that every day I get up (early) and trot off to the pool.  Most days, I also pop into the gym and hop on the cross-trainer and the bike too.  To be honest, I can’t remember when the day off before Christmas Day last year was.  I guess it may have been in September when I last visited Sydney.  I’m not sure.  What I do know is that while I always dedicate myself fully to my clients and the work I do for them, I make sure that I also dedicate some real time to me. I’m not just talking three times a week, or even five times a week – which is what I would have done in the past -but I mean EVERY DAY.  This is what keeps me happy, healthy and on my game so that my clients get the best out of me!

I have blogged occasionally in the past (yes, I know it has been a while since my last blog…sorry) about how I love to be creative.  I remember hearing somewhere that the satisfaction of creating something can relieve stress.  I come from a long line of creative women.  My grandmother was a seamstress and my mother an artist.  My mother was – and still is – unafraid to give something a go.  Leadlight, macramé, hat-making, micro-knitting, jewellery-making:  are just some of the non-mainstream crafts I recall.  I’m not joking but this blog would go on forever if I listed them all.  I’m a little more boring.  I get a thrill out of making Halloumi, mozzarella and yoghurt for less than $1 a batch.  I also love making clothes for a fraction of the price that I would buy them.  Not that I make all of my clothes.  Just some:  just enough to give me the satisfaction I need from making something from scratch that is actually presentable (most of the time).  Lol.  Just enough for me to achieve that work/life balance.

I’d be telling white lies if I said that I didn’t do these things before I left the public service.  Indeed, I did. I just did not give them the same priority in my life as I do now.  Now I make sure that I see the daylight every day.  That I smell the roses.  That I don’t get wracked with worry about one or other impending political or other type of crisis.  And I don’t sleep with my phone next to my bed in case someone needs to text or call at midnight.  Trust me, the hardest thing has been to part with the phone.  It took months but now a very convenient ‘Do not disturb’ feature ensures that I will get a silent sleep.

So, work/life balance is not a myth to me BUT I did – and do – need to make it happen.  Perhaps one day I may be willing to sacrifice some of these things again…but not just yet.  I don’t want to and I don’t need to.




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