I haven’t been too active on the blog lately. This is the biggest “writing” break I took so far. While it wasn’t triggered by anything in particular, I was a little exhausted of doing a million things. Working, taking courses, writing on the blog, applying for jobs and interviewing… and it just felt right to put it all on pause a little. Except work of course, that never really stops. With the break however, I’ve had quite some thoughts on work and life balance.
Over a year into the pandemic and so much has changed, yet so little. Berlin has now finally reopened almost fully – still with quite some restrictions in place. After 7-8 months of full-blown lockdown seeing so many people out and enjoying life seems so surreal yet so normal at the same time. As if there never was a pandemic. It’s a strange feeling for sure.
Looking back over the last year, the biggest change in my life – lucklily – has been my perspective towards work and life. My “boundaries setting” has been taken up a notch. It must also be experience. I’ve been at my current company for 4+ years already and I can easily apply the 80/20 rule to my work products and stand my ground when I need to. Mainly, however, it is the thought that there is more to life than work. Truth is, I’ve been quite enjoying the slower living pace we’ve had. Shared meals with the loved one on the daily, long walks during lunch break, sleeping in until 15 minutes before the first morning meeting. It’s all been a blessing over the past year. Again, we were very fortunate not to experience the dark side of the pandemic.
Something I kept thinking about is that there is this ever present dychotomy between work and life. There is the idea that you can either only love work, be super ambitious and eager to climb the ladder. Or enjoy life, be a free soul without much career ambitions, living on pennies. But it’s not quite possible to want and have both, especially without having one at the expense of the other. I keep thinking how in 2021 we still work by 1800s industrial era standards and it infuriates me every single time I remember it. At the same time, work is such an important part of our identities, it’s hard to set it aside.
I would however argue that we don’t need to only get one side of the deal; but we rather need modern standards for modern times. While a lot of people are starting to carve their own paths, I do hope to see systemic change in my lifetime. With some talk of having more flexible work options and even a 4 day work week, I am all for it.
Anyways, these are just some thoughts I thought I’d share – with no other intention than that of jotting them down. While I haven’t quite figured it out yet, I am pretty sure it will be an ever changing and balancing act of life and work ambitions.
What are your thoughts lately towards work and life balance? Would love to hear some of your thoughts in the comments section below.