I love to read. I mean, LOVE to read. I was one of those random kids whose mother had to urge her to put the book down and go out to play. So many of my summer vacations were spent staying up late reading in my bed, putting the book near my pillow while I slept only to pull it out the moment I woke up.
It may be that I haven’t completely outgrown that habit.
While my usual book of choice is fiction (with a soft spot for historical fiction), lately I’ve been branching out a lot more into the non-fiction world. As I work to make more and more positive choices in my life, I am looking for those who share similar thoughts and ideas. I’m a strong believer in the role of teachers and mentors, and I think that you can learn a lot from what a person shares through the written word. Though I strongly believe that you have to question what you read and figure out what is actually good advice verses what is bad (or what is simply fluff), I do enjoy the different views and insights that people are sharing.
One of the authors that I have been thoroughly enjoying is Mireille Guiliano. She’s most famous for her French Women Don’t Get Fat books (which I found insightful and entertaining), though the one that I just finished reading was called Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire: Business Sense & Sensibility. There’s a lot of great nuggets of wisdom in that book (even for those, like me, who are not in the corporate world) but there is one thing in particular that I want to discuss today.
I’ve read/heard a lot of things lately about keeping your life in balance. Most people talk about a 3-way balance between life, work, and love. Guiliano talks about four – what she names the “4 support legs to the work-life balance.” For her, they are:
- Good health
- Functional social network of friends and family
- Solid employment situation
- Time space, principles and policies for yourself
I like that she’s fleshed out the typical 3 pronged approach, and even made them a little more specific. I believe that these four elements are each deserving of their own time and attention, and as I go forward with The Positive Project, I want to make sure that I am using these “4 support legs” as a sort of check-in. After all, it will do me no good to shore up one leg if the other three are lacking – the whole point is that they are equal in size and attention, therefore making the the overall chair (i.e. life), strong, supported, and balanced.
As I look back over my posts, and give an honest assessment of my life, things have been out of balance. Like many people, work tends to take over. I think it’s especially easy as a single person. I don’t have a husband or kids demanding my attention when I get home, so its easier to just keep working. The working makes me feel accomplished, fills empty hours, prevents me from wasting hours in front of the TV, and even helps keeps sad thoughts at bay. However, it also increases my stress and deprives me of the recharge moments that I need in order to stay happy and healthy. So far, The Positive Projects – and the daily, conscious decision to make a positive choice every single day – has “forced” me to start paying more attention to the other three legs. I can honestly say that I have already seen a different in my outlook and my attitude. Up to this point the choices I have been making have been a little haphazard, going with the flow and the need of the moment, but now that I can see that it is working, I think that it might be time for a little more strategy in the type of choices I am making. Not to say that I can’t still go with the need of the moment (something that I am learning is actually quite important), but that I can still take a step back and analyze where I am lacking and choose to make a positive choice in that area as well.
I think the ante has been upped.