This morning, I was perusing through my tweets on Twitter, and I caught this conversation between George Couros (@gcouros), a principal from Alberta, and Jennifer Brokofsky (@jennbrokofsky), an instructional consultant from Saskatchewan.
This conversation intrigued me because I’m constantly talking to colleagues about “balance.” I know that I don’t balance my work life and home life well. I’m at school every morning by 6:30 and often don’t leave until after 5:00. I do school work at home every night and on the weekends. I update websites and coordinate email lists on my own time. I do all of this because working makes me happy!
I know that I’m not the only educator out there that puts in this extra time, and I know that I’m not the only educator out there that regularly contemplates balance. George’s tweet though helped me see things differently today. Maybe life doesn’t need to be about balance.
I teach because I love to teach. I can’t imagine doing anything else in my life. I’ve wanted to teach since I was in elementary school. Working with students, watching them learn, and knowing that I’ve played a role in this makes me smile every day. I’m lucky that I get to do what I love!
So I may not have balance. I still spend time with family and friends though. I still read books, watch movies, and play with my dogs. I go to conferences. I make presentations. And I go on vacations. I do many different things, and sometimes I spend more time on one than on another, but all that I do makes me happy. If this is the way I always feel, then maybe it doesn’t matter if I have “balance.” What do you think? Should “happiness” become the standard?
Love this post. Myself, I have a vocation (a calling); there is no need for balance.
Thanks for the comment, Kate! If you love what you do, maybe balance doesn’t matter as much.
I mostly agree with what you are saying. I am very passionate about my work and it contributes much happiness in my life. The only caution I would give is that we must be conscious of others in our life. If we only do what makes US “happy” we could be forgetting about others in our lives or in the world who need us. Self sacrifice sometimes does not make us “happy” per say and can be difficult and stretch you to your limits, even make you uncomfortable, but it is part of being human and living a whole life.
Thanks for your comment, Carlene! You make a good point here. Right now, in my life, I’m not married and I don’t have children, so I can also easily spend the time doing what I love at school and still seeing family and friends. Depending on what the future holds, I may need to make some changes in my life, but if I’m spending more time with a family that I love, wouldn’t that still make me happy? I don’t want the need for “balance” to ever make me upset with what I’m doing or how I’m living my life.
Aviva, thanks so much for this post.
I feel the same as you do – in fact, up until a short while ago, I felt like I had to explain to some people (who were constantly asking me or commenting) why “I don’t have a balance in my life”. Your post came to confirm what I have been upholding the last few months – it makes me happy. And if teaching, blogging, editing the teachers’ journal for our local association, tweeting on education and so on takes up most of my time, then so be it. Because I am having an awesome time doing them all!
Happy to read this and see that you are happy too!
Thanks so much Vicky for your comment and for sharing all that you do! I’m glad that this work makes you happy because I know that we all benefit from what you share and do.