One year ago, I published a post about hopes, dreams, and predictions for 2010. Click on that link, there’s a 7 second video worth watching.
While we determined our hopes and predictions, a friend helped me determine the mathematical equation for ranking the likelihood of each coming true. We figured it went something like this: Predictions>hopes>dreams. That is, predictions are most likely to come true, dreams the least.
Here’s the 2010 list of predictions from a night one year ago with friends and neighbors. The results listed thereafter.
2010 PREDICTIONS: “2010 will be easier on all of us than 2009,” “Obama’s reputation will be saved by climate legislation,” “I’ll paint the trim in the house white.”
(No, I don’t think 2010 was easier. I don’t think Obama’s reputation was saved. Instead of painting the trim, we sold the house)
2010 HOPES: “Good health,” “My Dad can retire by 12/31/10,” “My mother-in-law’s cancer treatment is successful.”
(Good health, yes, thank goodness. Yes, her dad retired. Yes, my mom’s treatment has put her into remission for the time being).
2010 DREAMS: “F will be potty trained,” “Obama is as good of a man as we think he is,” “I work less,” “The Chevy Volt will save GM.”
(Yes, F potty trained in January of 2010 (YAHOO). I believe Obama is an amazing man. I worked more, not less. I don’t know about the Volt; the jury is still out. Thoughts?)
We were on, we were off. I do believe we all continued to dream big.
As I ended the year 2010, I was directed to a blog post entitled, “The Myth Of Work Life Balance” by Mitch Joel. I read it more than a week ago and have returned to it in my head many times. I agree with parts, disagree with others.
First things first, anyone who writes about work life balance doesn’t have it. His argument ultimately is to let the struggle go, embrace work as life, and prioritize wisely. Agreed. However, at the end, he details specific rules to find life balance including: go to bed when tired, awake to no alarm. Clearly in this scenario, children are not involved (!) and you certainly can’t be working in medicine. And yes, his list for success will be entirely divergent from mine, of course. But in reading his list I realized my quick list had internal conflicts. I have goals to spend more time with my children. Then goals to improve the way I write, the number of patients I see, improve the way we use social media in health, and the way I model giving to my kids. I want them all, synonymously, simultaneously, congruently, instantly. Impractical and immature, maybe. Or maybe it’s a product of dreaming big. Working to perfect this balance seems ultimately part of my life’s work. How to give, share, raise, get, and contribute. I still also really believe you can balance differently one week from the next, ultimately thriving in multiple roles. One week is about work, the next, more about family. And truly, no one else will ever know when you’ve nailed the fulcrum perfectly in your own life-balance other than yourself.
As I said before, I believe those who write about work life balance don’t have it. If they did, it wouldn’t be a compelling topic. I’m not being critical; discontent is often a good thing. Restlessness is an incredible motivator and a perfect catalyst for creativity. I’m always grappling with how I spend my days and weeks, always working on the rearrangement of my life pie chart. Particularly as my boys grow, as their needs, and mine, change. This struggle, my questioning, and my mindfulness about choice hones how I live. The intention to live in balance is at moments, defining. As 2010 ended, I reflected again about longing for more time with my boys, more time to find stillness, more time unscheduled. In my mind I kept going back to Mitch’s post, realizing, I’d finally heard someone add sense about my value in personal work and my concurrent commitment to family.
Mitch wrote, “When someone says, ‘it’s nothing personal, it’s just business,’ you can proudly respond, ‘I spend a good chunk of my life doing business and I take it very personally!’ Amen! Yes, we really can value both spheres. When you push your personal limits, spend yourself in work, listen and absorb stories and worry–when you really care–business (or work) really is personal. Mitch helped validate that feeling.
So as I set out into 2011, a quick list…
2011 Prediction: I will work equally as hard in 2011 as I did in 2010.
2011 Hope: Good health to all in my family.
2011 Dream: I will find time in the wilderness, time to be still.
What are your predictions, hopes, and dreams? Will you share them here and then return to this post in 1 year to see how you did?
Yesterday an old friend reminded me, “Life is to be enjoyed, it is not all about service.”