Tuesday, November 16, 2010

'A balanced life holds amazing rewards'

I had a piece in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday, 'You may have to work at it, but a balanced life holds amazing rewards'.

Prompted by the Australia Institute's 'Go Home on Time Day', November 24th, I'm highlighting the problems with overwork.  And I'm suggesting that, if some of us put as much work into work/life balance as we do into work, we might be better off.  A sample:
For Australian workers who are dissatisfied, harried and guilty, a re-evaluation might help. International studies suggest that many fathers, for example, don't work at home, even when businesses support it. Perhaps domesticity is frightening or dull. But we also conflate success with vocational achievement. This isn't unreasonable, as it's a source of recognition and pride.
But life as a whole is also a formidable achievement: marriage, parenthood, friendship, and our mercurial "inner world". It takes enormous skill, wisdom and diligence to get it all balanced. This isn't some blithe, hippie fantasy, it's freedom itself: cultivating a strong, clear-minded, many-sided character. If we put as many hours into this aspiration, as we do into labour, we'd be more healthy, focused and prolific – perhaps even happier.
(Photo: foundphotoslj)


Shannon Garson said...

Your ideas are so great Damien. Domesticity is dull and frightening. But so is work! I think the problem often occurs when people expect working from home to be more stimulating/ fascinating/problem free than working in an office. Home is so intrinsically associated in our minds with relaxation that there is often a period of intense disenchantment for those who swap from the professional environment to the home environment. Making the home into the workplace also has it's problems (as I'm sure you know) Sometimes it becomes too "worky". I have to maintain constant vigilance to make sure the home is homely, welcoming, relaxing and warm.

Damon Young said...

I agree, yes. What concerns me is that the home office is sometimes not even considered; that the home's treated as a female domain.

Also, who's this 'Damien' chap?