A Balancing Act

balance

 

 In reading and reflecting on recent posts of ECI831 classmates and on my own self-directed readings and reflections, I have been thinking a great deal of the concept of ‘balance’ lately.  From a career development perspective, I believe finding life/work balance is extremely important for a healthy lifestyle.  That being said, I believe balance means something different to everyone and may be out of synch at any given time as long as balance is achieved over a period of time.  Finding balance involves ongoing self-awareness and self-analysis.  Technological tools, especially those we are experimenting with for the purpose of this class, can create opportunities for flexibility between life/work roles.  But, if not careful with their usage, can also upset the balance that I seek. 

I have been putting a tremendous amount of thought into the open and honest reflections of a fellow classmate in a blog post titled “Perspective and Balance” which sheds some insight into how a ‘forced leave’ due to medical issues was what was needed to take time to reflect on life/work roles and responsibilities.  The post shows how a professional, who is obviously extremely committed to her work and has established wonderful connections through the use of social media, has also experienced some overload due to shifts in balance partially due to high expectations of oneself and partially due to things such as the availability of social networking tools.  Many individuals have connected with and commented on this post.  For me, finding life/work balance is a constant challenge and I identify with the reflections in this piece.      

Connected to this idea of balance, is an article in the Bloggers Beat of the November 2009 issue of the Learning & Leading with Technology journal titled, “Finding Balance”.  The writer mentions the producers of the journal believe in the power of professional learning and development opportunities through internet-based tools such as Twitter, Ning, Facebook, etc.  However, even they admit they suffer from a serious case of online overload at times.  (p. 38)  The writer admits, “…there are times when the sound of my children’s voices shames me into switching off the home laptop at night.”  (p. 38)    The writer refers to a post she came across by Beth Still on a blog called “Moving at the Speed of Creativity” which addresses the challenges of balancing work time and family time, online friendships and face-to-face relationships.    

As I write this post, I am currently questioning my own need and ongoing struggle for life/work balance.  I always say that my family is more important to me than anything else , and yet, I am often guilty of focussing my energies on my work-related and volunteer endeavours.  In fact, my husband just asked me the other day if I am addicted to my computer…a continuing conversation!  Even as I write this post, I must confess I just asked my husband to take our boys our ‘trick-or-treating’ while I stay home and continue to work online.  Moments cannot be recreated and my boys will only be young once.  I have to be sensitive to how I balance my time between my professional responsibilities, professional interests, personal involvements, and the needs of my family.  To put things in some form of perspective, I am new to these technological tools and suspect I will not have to put as much time into using them once I improve my comfort level with them.  I can already see the tremendous value of the personal learning networks my classmates are creating and know I must invest time and energy into establishing my own in order to experience similar connections.  I am coming to realize these tools have the potential to add value to my personal and work relationships.  That being said, I also know life is about living and experiencing.  For me, family and friends are what I value most in my world.  So, over and out…I am going to go catch up to those trick-or-treaters! 

I am continually in a search for balance.  Life is a balancing act but that is what keeps it exciting!

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~ by lewisv on October 31, 2010.

2 Responses to “A Balancing Act”

  1. I do believe balance, in all of this, is the most important thing. Of course, the topic is not new. I know my dad tried to find it, but ended up spending hours at the restaurant and I remember referring it to “dad’s house”. He may have not found that balance, but I understand today, that even under somewhat ‘easier’ circumstances, it’s a never-ending cycle.

    I struggle with it, but when I do spend family time, I’m ALL there. I try to ignore even the most distant thought about my work when I am with my family. And when I do, I feel better about balance, and it also allows me to feel better about work when I’m there. (btw: yesterday I felt pretty good about this sense of balance http://twitter.com/#!/courosa/statuses/29228775317 )

    Thanks for the post!

  2. I read somewhere that balance is impossible, and instead, as Alec notes, the important thing is to shift fully when necessary to something else. Knowing that has helped me when I feel “off balance” or things seem “out of balance”.

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