A colleague of mine said this a couple of weeks ago as she was expressing a bit of frustration about the demands of her job. I've thought about this for a while for several reasons, but mostly for these three.
First, I thought it was a bold statement. "I have a big life." That says something. But it was particularly poignant after a visit with my folks whose lives seemed small to me. Small because they go out so little, because they see so few people. So then I started thinking about the size of my own life and realized how difficult it is to measure one's life.
Second, I recognized the tension of trying to maintain any semblance of a work-life balance. Now I'm among the worst when it comes to finding balance for my life and my work. I'm one of those who lets my work seep into every crevice of my life and, therefore, become my life. It takes great acts of discipline to step away and do more than wish I could do more.
I am not the most disciplined person.
Finally, going back to the observations of my reason, realizing that one's life is hard to measure. Parts of my life might seem quite small, but I'm not sure how one measures anyone else's life never mind one's own. As I was thinking this morning of how blessed I am, I realized how many friends and acquaintances I have; I realized, again, how much I've been able to see and do; I realized, again, how many people genuinely care about me. Quite honestly, the latter often puzzles me but I'm grateful for their caring, for their love.
Sure, there are plenty of things I still want to see and do, but I've seen and done more than many others at my stage of life. Just as I want to lose weight and get in shape, I want to manage my work-life balance better--and yes, it occurs to me that if I managed that balance better I'd have more time to get in shape and, therefore, assist in losing weight. The situation is not lost on me.
By others' standards, I might not have a very big life. But by my own measure and reflection, by my own hopes for the future, I'd say I have a more than satisfactory life, regardless of its size.
As you celebrate the holidays of 2011 and begin to think about your resolutions for 2012, reflect not on the size of your life, but its quality.