Recently, I have stumbled across multiple podcasts, news stories, and blogs that mentioned balancing life in one form or the other. Each time I come across a mentioning of work-life balance, I think back to a heart-felt piece of advice I received a few years ago from a retired executive of a major corporation. During his presentation, he stopped midway through an unrelated topic to drill home a point that was obviously pressing on his mind.
He began, "Balance is determined over a lifetime. Do not judge it on a daily, weekly, or even yearly time frame. There will be times that require you to put in extra hours now so that you can reap the rewards later on, but trust me when I say this, the rewards are well worth it."
After contemplating his point for a while, I began to understand more clearly what he meant. There will be days that you must work 12-14 hours as you prepare for a major event, presentation, or deadline. While other days can be may spent the entirely with your family. Either of these days viewed by themselves could be viewed as extreme; however, as the speaker mentioned, balance needs to be measured over a long time.
If you try to measure balance on a daily scale, disappointment will constantly be present. Daily balance is not a realistic goal that can be achieved, but honestly it would be boring if it did. Having the same amount of time allotted to each of your life categories daily would get old after a while.
With your overall life in view, be willing to put forth the efforts to achieve your goals both now and for the future. As Andrew Carnegie said, "Anything worth having is worth working for." Embrace each day for what it is and examine your life from a broader scale. Find the areas that need work and adjust accordingly.