Diaries Magazine

Work-Life Balance?

Posted on the 21 October 2019 by C. Suresh
Every time I hear of this Work-Life balance I get a weird feeling. (No, you @#$$, it is not because I neither have work nor life. If you choose to think that there is no work without a job and no life without a spouse, that's your problem, not mine.) I mean, I get this strange feeling that, just as they start for work, people switch on the 'Zombie Mode'. And switch it off when they go back home. If you are balancing work and life, then obviously you think of work as something apart from life, don't you? Like you have to put your life of hold for so long as you are working, merely so you can afford the costs of the rest of the time when you are indulging in 'life'. I get how it can be. I was not always into 100% life, as you may choose to call it, like I am now since I am not working. This 'life' portion of the day is when you are free to mix and match things. Your relationship with your spouse does not necessarily go into an irreversible tailspin just because you pop out for a couple of beers with a friend in-between. (Unless, of course, it invariably turns out to be 20 beers and you routinely need four people to pour you back into your bed so that you can sleep it off.) Nor does forgetting an birthday or an anniversary, every now and then, inevitably lead to divorce. (Though, of course, it can mean going through soul-harrowing experiences in the aftermath, or so I hear). With work, though, it is like you have to leave the rest of what's happening in your life at the door when you walk in. And deadlines, unfortunately, cannot be treated as casually as birthdays, not without bringing the relationship with your employer to an acrimonious end. But, yet, such things can be said of marriage as well. THAT relationship is not the same as your friendships, say. It is more demanding than the rest as well and, yet, one does not hear of a Marriage-Life Balance. THAT's still a part of your life, on the right side of the Work-Life thingy. So what's with work that makes it not Life? Is it the fact that it expects you to leave the rest outside the office door but refuses to stay back at office when you walk out? Or the fact that it is not an emotional relationship like the rest are? Or, perhaps, the fact that there is always the feeling of power imbalance in it - that you need your employer more than your employer needs you? Whatever it is, Work uses up at least half of the waking hours of the average person. It is one thing to use Work-Life Balance as a way to denote how you manage the requirements of the work and non-work portions of your life. But the very fact that this denotation has seemed so natural to people suggests that, somehow, Work is seen as 'not-Life'. To sort of mark time for nearly half your life, considering it as not living, is, to put it mildly, foolish. Life is what it is, limited in years, and it is best to make the most of whatever time you have. It's best to do the work that you can come to love doing, if you have the choice, OR to change your attitude to try and like as much as you can of what you have to do. In other words, Work IS a part of Life and it has to be LIVED, not merely endured. If you get too used to switching on the Zombie mode, sooner or later it will refuse to go off when you want it to!

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