Thursday, October 3, 2013

Live Deliberately: Work/Life Integration

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” -Seth Godin
As I was preparing for this week's post, a friend shared this quote on his social media. It couldn't have come at a better time.

I would like to talk about part of my life that doesn't have the best language to describe it. But I am going to try. When I was working in the staffing industry we referred to "Work/Life Balance." But I wanted something very different.

I wanted "Work/Life Integration." 

There may be some other more elegant ways of saying it:
  • Harmony
  • Rhythm
  • Life Balance
The French have a philosophy that no one aspect of your life should overshadow or eclipse any other aspect of your life.

An issue of Life Magazine from 1968 quoted writer and counterculture personality Paul Krassner as saying:


"Some anthropologist said that one definition of happiness is to have as little gap as possible between your work and your play." 

This is the philosophy that I want to live by. 

Our current American culture suggests that we can "have it all" but then villainizes the individuals who try to do just that. Working mothers are told they are neither providing the best care for their children nor performing at peak levels in their careers. If they do one they must be lacking in the other.

It is similar to the argument that someone has "too much time on their hands." We have glorified the act of "being busy." Accomplishments no longer speak for themselves. We judge our relationships by everyone's level of busy-ness. We talk about people in terms of being workaholics or married to their jobs. This kind of work/life imbalance can destroy families. 

It doesn't have to be like that.

I am not too busy when I am doing something I love. I don't have too much time on my hands when I go out for a beer at 3pm. I am in control of my time. I write when I write and I enjoy as much as I enjoy every other aspect of my life. And since moving into the tiny house and embracing deliberate living I enjoy everything from laundry and dishes to spending time with friends and meeting with clients.

I don't like the concept of a "Job." My job isn't writing. Rather, I am a writer. It is part of my life.It is who I am.

I believe that work/life integration is an important part of the Live Deliberately philosophy. My journey to get her led to me being self employed which works great for my lifestyle. There are countless ways to make this happen for yourself. And that is the key: "Yourself." This is a very personalized philosophy and only you can change your life.

How can you integrate your work and your life?




7 comments:

  1. "We judge our relationships by everyone's level of busy-ness".

    This is terribly true. I work with several 'go getters' that put tremendous effort in exuding this character. They insist on staying back a little longer than everyone else and draw attention to it. They send emails at wacky hours. They sigh on queue so everybody else is aware of the level of workload and stress they have upon themselves. I have one colleague who insists on printing everything out and having it strewed across his desk to make his desk look as though important work is carried out there. This topic always carries me back to Satre's "Bad Faith".

    Me: I rock up on time, finish on time, and take a long lunch. My desk is clean and tidy. I have a feeling that my colleagues think I just coast on by. Thing is, I get my job done like everyone else.

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  2. I think that it is wonderful that you have been able to integrate your life so well, there was a time that I had accomplished that and then things went haywire...now at 58 I am trying to once again do this...Blessing to you ...

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  3. At 63 and about to retire I do not want to stop working and creating. I have started building a tiny house in a 6000 sq ft steel pole barn. My 490 sq ft home in a building will have me in immediate contact with my shop. Free to build furniture, tiny trailers and craft item for sale at the local flea markets. I am so looking forward to very inexpensive living and my giant shop. Free to tuck my vehicles inside at night and at any hour day or night have the freedom to putt around on the project of choice. Even building the home has been a joy to my soul. Knowing as soon as 2 credit cards and a truck payment have balanced at zero I can take my full retirement and maintain in fine style in my little home without a house payment

    [OK shop rent is $200.00 but that 3 cents a square foot (grin) ]

    No property tax and just renters insurance to cover the house and vehicles "stored" in the building. Yes life harmony has finally arrived. If I could just get to those zero balances so I can quit the 8-5 job.

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  4. I too am a writer. Back in 2008 I was fired from my last "real" job. At that point I decided that I would never do anything that I hated simply to obtain money. Don't get me wrong, I am working all the time. I just work (play?) at what I enjoy doing and that is teaching others that there is a better way to live.

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  5. Ah yes, I would so love to have that too. Thing is, I just don't know what that job would be anymore. I know I am more introverted and would probably love doing something on my own, by myself. I have done mostly retail and or working with people most of my life. I am done with that. I would love a tiny house, a little yard, a garden, living off the grid as much as possible, and having a job that fits me. Ah...just not sure how to figure it out. Hasn't come to me at all. Namaste

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  6. Laura--you put into words EXACTLY how I want to live. Thank you!

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  7. Laura--You put into words exactly how I want to live my life. Thank you!

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