I think a lot about how to balance my work and home life.. It is one of the ongoing challenges of a busy life. I read something recently; I think it was in The Happiness Project, which we read for the most recent St. John’s Kid Book Club, the gist of it was that we need to live the life we have, not pine for the life we want. I read this to mean that we need to enjoy our lives now and not put that off until we achieve the life we dream of, because that dream may not materialize. We also need to analyze whether the life we want really is the life we want, for example, if you want a house, a cabin, a fancy car, an annual vacation… are you willing to make the tradeoffs required to achieve these things? Are you willing to work 12 hour days? Are those things the things you really want or is what you want more intangible such as more time with your family? No two people are the same and there is no right or wrong. I think the important thing is just to think about it once in a while.
We have recently been considering these things at my house and have been trying to prioritize our personal goals and objectives and make them align with our professional ones. One of the most interesting approaches I have heard to this process is having an Annual General Meeting with your partner. You make a date night of it and sit down and assess how things are going, what is working, what isn’t and set clear tasks and objectives for the next year. This AGM can be about your relationship, you finances, your life goals or all of it. I think with older kids it would be interesting to include them in the discussion, or at least in a ‘subcommittee’ meeting! We haven’t fully instituted this at our house, but I like the idea.