With that as a given, the burden is on us to manage our lives in ways that work comes first but we can also take care of ourselves and those depending on us (including animal companions). The term "balance" is out-of-date. The ethos of the world of work is Dickensian.
On Abovethelaw.com, lawyer-journalist Kathryn Rubino presents a case study of how a BigLaw female partner with three young children approaches making work the priority and yet not neglecting herself or family. It is derived from CorporetteMoms.
As expected, the partner's worst nightmare is a sick child. Especially one who starts vomiting during the night. The way through that is the ability to negotiate home responsibilities with the husband. He is also a professional.
Of course, that partner's challenges of simultaneously doing high-powered work and caring for herself and others mirror those of all of us in The Professional Class. If we want to remain in it, we have to figure out our unique coping strategies and tactics. The last time the system provided me balance was in 1983. For 36 hours (including, of course, an all-nighter) I could work from home on a white paper. There was a personal matter I had to monitor at home.
A sales trainer who was pulled back to full-time work when she was 71 put it this way: "Either you're all in or you're not in." Being all in required constant travel.
To be all in, I had to bypass having children. My mentor recommended I adopt two dogs. He was on the money. Sometimes, they have to wait until I wrap up a project in my home office before I take them on a long walk. Until then, it will be in and out.
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