New Rules are Needed for Work-Life Balance

We are scales.

Not the digitalized platform in which many of us fear. I mean the traditional, two-sided scale. It’s common sense; when one side is more heavily weighted, the device is thrown off balance. We work the same way.

Work-Life Balance is the key driver. From what I have learned from the last few months, new rules define second stage solutions for retirement years.

In my last entry, I focused on the need for balance and meditation – to be centered. While I work with people at the early stages of the second half of life, I have the advantage of being far enough down the road to know where the physical changes hit that show up screaming at you, “BE SMART!”

When I was in my late forties, things changed. My eyesight got to the point where I could not fake it, and I had to wear glasses. I felt old for the first time. Joint pain started at different times, and I just felt worse than I used to. I gave in and got the glasses, and I started working out with less gusto and more care.

Then in my early sixties things dramatically changed again. I fell on uneven ground carrying a camera and tripod in icy conditions. I fell again on black ice with a camera and landed flat on my back. My days often involved an extra unwanted dosage of pain. My skin did not have the depth and translucency of the past. Because of that, I got more radical with my diet, as I have talked about, and my health took a turn for the better.

Then, my wife’s illness, other family issues, increased efforts at launching my own venture, and falling back into the ways of the first half of life for business rules all hit at the same time.

These restrictions could not dominate my life if I wanted to live a long, healthy, happy life. It was time to turn a new leaf and allow myself to take on some new rules.

So, what exactly are these new rules?

  • The need for balance
  • More time for recovery
  • Sleep
  • Be true to your own agenda

Balance is always important, and our health depends on it. But as we get older, I have found that our bodies punish us faster if we break this rule. I was told in my youth that you had to be enjoying yourself fifty-percent of the time while you worked or you were in the wrong job. I am following the rule to find enjoyment in the entirety of my ventures, or find another way of doing them or different ones to do.

I got into this lifestyle so that we could eat well and have a comfortable home environment, and that I could be creative. For the last month, l was working fourteen-hour days and not taking the time for meal prep or other nurturing activities. This double whammy of not balancing my activities between masculine activities and feminine activities and eating food of questionable quality was a disaster for me.

Older bodies take more time to recover. Allow for it. Take an afternoon nap if you need it. While I do not do this, I find that I feel much better if I give myself an afternoon mediation session before starting dinner prep. And doing the prep rather than eating out or ordering in puts better food in our bodies.

Sleep sounds simple. It is more than the time for it, it is the prep for it. Being active late at night makes it difficult for me to sleep. This means that evening classes and teleseminars that I schedule have to allow for time into the next morning to recover. My spouse is younger than I am and gets up early. That means I might have to stay in bed when she gets up, on occasion, in order to get the rest that I need. We all have different needs. We are responsible for determining what they are and holding to them.

This leads to the last item. Be true to your own agenda. The first half of life is combined into two parts: preparing for adulthood and getting our offspring to adulthood. Second Stage Solutions are about OUR needs. This is not narcissistic or selfish thinking. If at this point in our lives we do not meet our needs, we are going to become diseased and put more burden on others. Our hospitals and care facilities are filled with people with all of the diseases of our times. Why not do what makes us happy, and eat good food so we do not get sick? To me, this does not sound like such a bad plan.

I am not telling you to be selfish; I am saying to give back in a way that is onCORE with who you are. So for me, being a caregiver to my spouse while she is still in the workforce is part of who I am. Practicing photography, editing, and using my own work is part of who I am. Understanding new technology trends and applying them is part of who I am. Coaching others is part of who I am. Writing is part of who I am. Teaching is part of who I am. Learning is part of who I am.

So my second stage solutions for me is to balance these in such a way that I feel natural and comfortable. Tomorrow is September 1, in my mind the start if a new school year. Time for new rules. Time to balance the scale.

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