What Work-Life Balance Means to Me
It’s interesting that “What work-life balance really means to me” is the prompt for this week. You all may have noticed a…slow down in social media activity from me the last few weeks.
What my one-on-one VA clients knew several weeks ago, but that I didn’t make general knowledge was that when I went on family vacation the second week of June, I came back with Covid. So did many other members of my family. We’ve spent the last several weeks in and out of the hospital (some of us had pre-existing conditions, which is why we’d been so careful last year, and why we got vaccinated as soon as we could this year). We’ve spent the last several weeks quarantined at home, doing all the right things (medication, vitamins, supplements, oils, breathing treatments, etc.). We’ve spent several weeks sleeping a whole lot.
There were many aspects of my business that simply didn’t get done. I would be able to pull myself together for an hour or two every day to get work for clients done. And once I started feeling better, I was able to work on bigger projects. But I intentionally didn’t do much for MY business. Just my customers.
Many of the social media posts, videos, and newsletters you’ve seen over the last few weeks were either scheduled before I left on vacation (I didn’t take my computer on vacation with me! 😱 ) or they were done by one of my assistants since I got back.
To me, for the last month, Work-Life Balance has meant “next to no work.” I worked really hard in May and the first week of June so that I would be able to completely unplug and not work while I was on vacation. I haven’t necessarily always done that. I admit I’ve taken my computer with me on vacation before. And I was tempted to this time because there was a book to audio-proof that I really wanted to read. But I didn’t. And then I got Covid, so Work-Life Balance had to slow down to really, truly, almost nothing from me.
Client work got done, and nothing else. I know many workaholics are shuddering right now thinking about not working at all for a full month. At least one of you just became physically ill at the thought. I spent this past month lying in a hammock reading or just listening to the birds or going to the doctor. Nothing else.
True, part of why I could do that was that I have assistants that can help me with a lot of stuff. And part of why I could do that is that I didn’t have four books to edit on my schedule. And part of why I could do that was because my one-on-one VA clients all know me well enough and trust me well enough that if things didn’t necessarily get done on the day I normally did them, they would get done that week. And part of why I could do that is that I had systems in place and support from my family to be able to really not have to worry about much at home either.
To me, Work-Life Balance means having your life organized in such a way that when something unexpected happens at work or in life, things can go on fairly normally and everything doesn’t fall apart. It means recognizing when my body simply can’t handle working for several hours straight and being ok with that. It means prioritizing client work over my own business so that I can quit working at a reasonable time. It means making conscious choices about not taking computers on vacation and enjoying time with family instead. It means choosing to stop work at six every evening and not work on Sundays…and then follow through on enforcing that.
I think 2020 helped a lot of us learn how to unwind and brought more balance between work and everything else. But I also know, a lot of us have more learning to do. Myself included.
Last Thursday was the first time I’d left the house (except to go the doctor and then the pharmacy) in three weeks. I’ve been doing one thing a day since then. And I will continue to do one thing a day for a little while longer. I’ve had more and more strength each day (truly, the exhaustion has been the worst part for me). Things will begin to return to normal around here soon enough. I will eventually get back to the regular posting schedule. I will eventually get back to the awesome content you’ve come to expect from me 😜 . I will eventually get back to being able to take on big projects again. But for now, Work-Life Balance means sleeping 15 hours a day and cuddling with my kids and husband every night. Oh, and Star Wars because we decided to do a family watch-through of all of the movies.
So, please be patient with me a little while longer. Your regularly scheduled programing should return shortly.
Owner, Adriel Wiggins Author Services and Consulting
Hello! I’m Adriel Wiggins, wife, mother of three, bibliophile, art geek, and all around student. I’ve been on a quest all of my life to learn as much as I possibly can about everything I possibly can. This has helped me tremendously in what eventually became my life’s purpose: to help other people become the best version of themselves. It is in that line that I became an assistant.
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