Finding Balance Between Work and Life
After the illness, then death, of a close family friend within a much too short six week period of time, I began to ponder the fragilityof life and the limited time we have here on earth... When faced with our own mortality, many of us wonder if we have made the right choices about our lives and what other paths we could have chosen.
It is important to take the time to consider our options and to evaluate the choices so that we have time to work, time to play and time to make sure our life is as fulfilling as it can be. After all, the time we do have to "get it right" is limited. Sister Jean C. Peters, CSJ says in the CSJ Newsline "I do not suggest that hard work has no place in our lives, but it cannot have the only place. A sense of leisure and a spirit of play need space in us as well".
花一些时间去考虑、评估我们做出的选择是很重要的，因为这样我们才有时间去工作，娱乐，才能确保我们的生活过得最充实。毕竟，我们能够“做对”的时间是有限的。Jean C. Peters在CSJ新闻纵横上说：“虽然我不并不建议生命中不要努力工作，但是努力工作也不应该占据生活中的唯一位置。我们也需要一点悠闲的时间，一种游戏的精神。”
How do we achieve balance in our lives? It takes planning and it takes action. A friend of mine recently downgraded her job, cut her hours (and her paycheck) so she could pick up her daughter from school several times a week. It wasn't easy, but, she set up a budget and, with planning, calculated how she could live on her reduced income.
Flexible Work Options
Flexible schedule is another option. Working some hours in the office and some hours at home allows for more time with the family. Spending some of my work hours at home has benefited my employer - we now have email coverage on evenings and weekends rather than strictly during office hours. For those of us who do work from home setting limits is important. For some telecommuters, designated office hours have helped manage their time. Job Sharing is an another alternative - two people can often share one position.
Keep in mind that the worst that can happen if you ask your boss about flexible work options is that he can say no. If you don't ask, you won't have a chance. If you do, you may just be pleasantly surprised.
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More dramatic measures are sometimes in order. Several years ago, Michael Landes, author of the Back Door Guide to Short-Term Adventures started a new life engaging in short-time work experiences. Michael recently told me that "It was all these short-term job adventures that allowed me to grow into this phase and open my eyes to what I really wanted - BALANCE in my career, life, relationships, and home. It's as if I came full circle I left my secure job, home, relationship, and community six years ago to explore the world (along with nurturing my dream and passion - my book, and everything that comes with that). The work component had really consumed my life. Now is the time to go back to what I left - but with fresh eyes and a new perspective... We will have phases through our entire life where one area will rise above the other - the key, however, is BALANCE."
还有很多有效地达到平衡的方法。几年以前，Back Door Guide to Short-Term Adventures一书的作者Michael Landes开始尝试了一种短时间工作的经历。最近他告诉我说：“就是因为有这些短期工作的经验，我才能够达到今天的地步，我才能找到我真正想要的。在我的事业，生活，人际关系，和家庭生活之间找到平衡。就好像一个循环一样，六年前，为了探知一个未知的新世界，我离开了有保障的工作，家庭，抛弃了所有的关系。工作真的毁了我的生活。而现在，又回到了我离开前的样子了，唯一不同的是新鲜的看法和不同的观点。我们的整个生命进程中，都会有不同的阶段此起彼伏，而关键就是找到平衡。
Balance is possible and well worth the effort sometimes required to achieve it. After all, we really don't have forever.