Work-life balance, the phrase that gets thrown around frequently, put into any sort of professional job advertisements (whether this is the reality or not) and appears to be the goal that everyone strives to achieve (at least in the corporate sphere that I work in). Of course, it also means different things to different people. For some it means being home every night to have dinner with their kids and for others it means only working every second weekend. For me work-life balance means, getting home at a reasonable hour MOST nights (in my job there are always times during which this is simply not possible), not having to work at all in the weekends and, most importantly, having the time to do the things I want to that are not work related (such as spending time with my SO, family and friends, going to the gym or a concert, relaxing at home with a good book or having the time to cook a nice dinner).
As I have already mentioned, there are always times in my life where this balance is out of whack, when work feels like its taking over my life and when I do finally escape the office all I want to do is sleep. Luckily for me, I have got myself into a position where this situation is the exception, not the rule, but I know other people where the opposite is true for them. These days everyone is constantly connected to each other and essentially immediately contactable through one means or another. For this, I blame the internet, smartphones and social media. Easy access to all of these things can make it hard to switch off. If your colleagues or clients can get hold of you anywhere at anytime, it makes it very difficult to disconnect from work. Some people are comfortable with this and have no issue receiving and checking work calls and emails over the weekend and late at night. For me, this feels like a gross invasion of my non-work life. We are not robots and cannot be expected to be 'on' constantly, that's how major mistakes happen and people 'burn out' (adrenal fatigue and various other physical and mental health issues anyone?)
For anyone who is battling to have a life outside of work and to find that seemingly unattainable balance, I thought I would share some things that I do which assist me in finding the work-life balance that works for me MOST of the time.
Love, health and happiness,
Tattoos. This is a fairly polarizing subject for many people - they either hate them or love them. What are considered tacky and trashy by many are viewed as works of art and self-expression by others. In many cultures a tattoo depicts your family group, ancestry and heritage or is a right of passage into adulthood. They hold a higher meaning than simply ink on skin.
As someone with 2 tattoos (and counting), both of which I love, I am of the opinion that they are a wonderful way to express yourself. However, if you had asked me 5 years ago whether I would ever get a tattoo, the answer would have been a solid 'No'. So what changed? Well, one summer's afternoon my family and I were talking about tattoos and whether we would ever get one. I said I wouldn't unless it really really meant something to me. That was the conversation that planted the seed and as I was driving home I got to thinking, what is so important to me that I would proudly have it etched into my body for the rest of my life. The answer came to me immediately - family.
From then on for about a year I toyed with the idea of having something that represented my family tattooed on my body. I wanted it to serve as a reminder to me of what is really important in life when things got stressful at work, or life in general threatened to overwhelm me (I can get a bit "down in the weeds" about things from time to time). I began researching ideas and designs and a good friend of mine with a myriad of amazing tattoos recommended her artist. I contacted the artist, met with them, discussed what I wanted and next thing I knew I had booked my session in.
I went for a small piece on the right hand side of my rib cage, it took about an hour to do and was a lot less painful than I had expected (having braces put on when I was 13 was a much more traumatic experience). I was stoked with the result. Fast forward a year and I just couldn't get the idea of having another tattoo done out of my head. So, earlier this year (after 6 months of "thinking about it" and researching concepts, techniques and ideas), I got in touch with the artist again and this time had a much larger, more intricate piece done (see the pic at the top of this post for what it looks like on paper - I also had a watercolour background added). It took two sessions (one was 6 hours and the other 2 hours) and it is truly a work of art. Partly because of my job, both of my tattoos are on my ribs/torso where they cannot be seen unless I am in a bikini (or naked!) However, the main reason for choosing these placements is because both of my tattoos are personal to me and are something that I have done for myself, not for anyone else (although my SO likes them too). I love my tattoos, they are unique to me (each having been designed especially for me), are a form of self-expression and a way of non-verbally communicating a bit of my personality. They serve as a constant visual reminder of what's important to me and help to keep me grounded. Other people may not feel this way about their tattoos and their motivations for getting tattoos may be different - that is of course absolutely fine.
I believe that, on the whole, society is becoming more and more accepting of tattoos and today they are certainly not uncommon in the younger age groups, in fact I would go so far as to say that they are almost "normal". I have plans for a 3rd one (much to my parents' delight), but like my previous ones, I am in no rush and am just going to sit on the idea (I have several concepts and styles in mind) before I go and see my artist (they are fully booked until 2017 anyway so I don't have much choice in the matter). Choosing to adorn your body permanently is a big decision (well it was for me) and I would encourage people to think very carefully and do their research on both what they want and their intended artist before they launch into any sort of commitment.
When it comes to tattoos and having one or not having one, there is no right or wrong answer, there is only what is right for you.
What do you think about tattoos? All opinions welcome :)
Love, health and happiness,
Hi! I'm PrayerBaby. I love food, fitness and travel. I'm excited for you to join me on my creative journey.