Question for Meg:
“To keep my family life and career balanced, I’ve organized my time like a finely tuned machine with very little “give” in it. The stress really amps up when one needs more than I can give without sacrificing the other, and I have to choose between them.”
I’d first like to point out that a lot has to go perfectly for your “finely tuned machine” to succeed. So it’s destined to crumble.
You’ll never be able to count on this unsustainable system to deliver any real or lasting balance in your life. In fact, it’s keeping you lurching from crisis to crisis.
One thing you can count on, is that life is unpredictable. No matter how determined you are to shoehorn everything in so you don’t have to make painful choices, your finely tuned machine is actually a formula for accumulating unchecked stress until it boils over.
If you don’t upgrade this operating system, you can be sure that a crisis will always be simmering. And without any room for the unexpected in your system, you’re guaranteed to end up frustrated and exhausted from trying to stick to a plan that’s unworkable in real life.
There’s no way around the fact that painful choices sometimes need to made. But you can be confident that those choices will always be more accurate and more aligned with your desire to balance all aspects of your life, if you determine to make them when you’re calm.
So stop avoiding the pain, and practice making those difficult choices when they’re called for. Create new a structure with the flexibility necessary for sustainability. A structure that can respond with grace and dignity to the inevitable curve balls that real life will eventually throw your way.
Take good care : )