The last three days have been a perfect storm of client projects, thus no blog posts since last week. This imbalance in my life triggered the notion that we place a lot of emphasis on having balance in our lives. Balanced diets, balanced checkbooks, balanced opinions. We even use scales and a blind woman to represent justice.
I’d pose that balance doesn’t truly exist and that our pursuit of so-called balance only leaves us wildly out of whack. For instance, my fear of not having written a blog post since last week (mustn’t blow the schedule even more) had me writing a draft of this post (see below) while my hairdresser cut my hair.
I strongly suspect that I’m not the only one who questions what living a balanced life requires and the cost it exacts. Failing to recognize this fact falls in the same category (IMO) as saying that women can have it all with no caveat added to address the good and the bad (that’s another discussion).
Balance is also equated to neutrality (see: scales of justice), which I find equally ridiculous, if admirable in aim. For instance, Fox News makes a point of saying “fair and balanced.” Please, hold the laughs for a moment. The bigger question isn’t whether they’re honest or not when they say this but rather why network executives assume viewers want “fair and balanced” in their news?
Am I too cynical when I say that I believe no one individual or entity is capable of true balance or neutrality all of the time? Last I checked, humans, including reporters, aren’t exempt from all the quirks of humanity, including personal opinions. Would we like/respect the press more if we knew what personal biases might be in play?
Coming back to balance in our lives…some weeks, I will physically (and mentally) not be able to keep my posting schedule of five per week, but that won’t stop me from trying to meet my goal. Maybe this idea is the true definition of balance.
As Marc Andreessen points out, “There’s always more demands than there’s time to meet them, so it’s constantly a matter of trying to balance them.” (link) The other thing I’d add—try spending more time weighing the value of the demand versus the time it requires. Few scales will ever truly balance. Perhaps they aren’t supposed to.