This is Part 3 of a 5 part series. To see the whole series, read the introductory post.
Personal-family balance is a tricky subject. I specifically avoid the term work-life balance, because I feel that in the world of an entrepreneur that's a disengenuous concept. Your work is, in many ways, your life. It is a passion that you cannot help but get up excited to pursue every day. But while I feel that one doesn't need to focus on the balance of work and life, I think one needs to focus on the balance of personal desires and those of the family.
In our life, family means many things. It means our children. It means our dog. It means our parents and siblings. These are parts of our life that are varied and broadly distributed across this huge country. Our personal focusses are just as varied and broadly distributed. Governance/Coop work, contruction and triathlon; yoga, riding and barn management. Insomuch as work and family must be balanced, work, too, is a personal interest. So how does one focus on the family harmony?
There's an expression that I've heard a few times that I think sums it up best:
I have many interests and I neglect them all equally.
Sometimes I have to neglect my parents. Sometimes I have to neglect my work. As I talked about in Our Third Pillar, we have three things we need to focus on as a base for our abundance: marriage, fitness and finances. We are forced to neglect all of these in turn in order to keep our personal/family balance in harmony. In the same way, sometimes the dog doesn't get walked and the kids get to vegitate in front of Netflix so that we can focus on things that are important to us as people.
Like anything of importance, there is always more than one "right thing" to be doing. Often, two (or more) of those right things are polar opposites of each other. Often we're just forced to choose, essentially at random, because two are of equal importantance. The trick is to ensure that all of the many facets of our family and personal lives are getting enough focus. And ensuring that balance is the point of my family harmony meditation.