(originally written for a wellness publication in Oct. 2004)
“So be sure when you step,
Step with care and great tact,
And remember that Life’s
A Great Balancing Act.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
( 98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
Whatever happened to the “good ol’ days” when dad went whistling off to his workplace after kissing mom and the kids good-bye, to return eight productive hours later to a home-cooked meal with his contented family gathered around the dining room table?
Now few families have the luxury of a stay-at-home parent. According to Statistics Canada recent publications, increasingly fewer families have two parents. And it seems that our very survival depends on us working more and more hours.
Stats Canada tell us that the most stressed group are the 25-44 year olds who are employed full time with children at home, while the men in these homes work on the average 48.6 paid hours per week and 22.8 hours of unpaid work, with the women working 38.8 and 34.4 hours respectively.
It is no accident that this season’s TV lineup highlights folks seeking solutions to their life problems and we all gather around that sacred icon in our renovated family rooms, hoping we’ll get some solutions too. Our heroes and gurus have become the latest pop psychologists and the “survivors”
But there are better ways, and the solutions are as individual as each of us. You would not expect your car to drive you around with no fuel in it. Then why do we expect ourselves to function without fuelling up regularly or recharging our own batteries? We cannot just keep giving and giving and expect to need nothing in return. The signs of being out of balance are easily recognizable: exhaustion, burnout, impatience, depression, anger, even a sense that things are just not right.
Finding solutions implies becoming the master of our lives and taking control where it has been lost.
And in wishing you good success in moving or even climbing your own mountains, another sobering thought from Dr. Seuss:
“How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?”