To most of us, 'Work/Life Balance' means being able to effectively allocate sufficient time and effort to both work and other areas of our lives, such as family, so that we can function well, and enjoy both.
If only achieving it were as easy as defining it!
I find achieving it impossible, because I hate work so much.
I loathe it.
I detest it.
I abhor it.
I would like to drag it kicking and screaming, by the hair, and throw it down a very deep well, from where it could never escape, so that I should never again fall into its evil clutches.
I would like to kill it.
The thing is, I'm not rich. This means, that I have to generate cash somehow, so that my family can eat. I don't really have the stomach for anything 'dodgy'; I considered crime, but couldn't face the potential consequences of being caught. A stretch in prison just isn't 'me'!
Then I thought about becoming a rent boy. The money seemed good, and the hours short, but there was a risk that the cocks would be long, so I put that 'on the back-burner'.
For a while I thought about looking for work as one of those blokes that collects trolleys from the supermarket car park after the customers have loaded their shit into their cars. Outdoor work, fresh air, lots of time to idle away thinking 'deep thoughts' without the annoying annoyance of some halfwit workmate 'chipping-in' with his tuppenceworth.
It all came to nought. Whatever the occupation, I didn't fancy it. See, we're only here for 'three score years and ten' - why waste any of that doing something we don't like? Well, aside from the small matter of our responsibilities, that is.
And my 'responsibilities' are the people I love and care about. They are the ones with whom I want to spend my time, not some 'strangers' at a workplace I loathe. Yes, nice enough they may be, but I know in whose company I'd rather idle away my hours, thank you very much! I leave for work at 6:30am, and I arrive home at around 5:30pm - that's 11 hours! Of the other 13 hours in a day, my children sleep for around 10 hours, which leaves me with three. It doesn't sound like much of a 'balance' to me! And, before anybody mentions all the time I spend on here, I write this nonsense in my long break at work, or else when the kids are in bed, and the wife is watching her dramas on TV in the evening.
My own Work/Life Balance, then, isn't that balanced.
Ideally, I'd like to find a suitcase stuffed with an enormous amount of cash - lost in a robbery getaway, perhaps, as that one 'was' in 'House of Games' starring Joe Mantegna and Lindsay Crouse. Then, I'd be able to stop work, and spend all my time with my wife and children. I'd have to be careful with how I spent the money, of course. People are nosey, aren't they?
"Ooh, where's all his money come from?"
"Must've won the lottery!"
"Or had a 'rich aunt' die on him!"
"Jammy bleeder! Some folks have all the luck!"
I'd keep it hidden somewhere in black plastic bags, or open a number of accounts in Belgium or Bermuda or the Bahamas, or wherever it is that all those blokes that want to remain 'off the radar' stash their cash. Is it Switzerland?
Having as much money as I could possibly ever need would sort everything, I think. Of course, we're only talking like this because of the unfair way society has 'grown up'. Back in the old days, before money existed and we were all part of the Simian family, there was no stress about Work/Life Balance. We all just 'kicked back', took our time as it came, ate nuts, picked berries, drank from the stream - this was before pollution, before 'industry' (laughs), before laws, before money, before greed. Way, way back in the Time That Time Forgot. Idling our time away, picking nits from each other's hair, picking fruits from a tree which belonged to nobody, picking flowers to sniff without worrying about breaking some by-law, picking a partner without having to think about saving up for a mortgage...
Whilst I'm writing this, I've got my headphones on. At the moment, it's The Roots 'Now Or Never'. The next one will be 'How I Got Over' then 'The Fire'. I'm not even sure I like hip-hop that much, but he sounds a bit desperate, and angry, and that's how I feel right now, so it kind of fits.
Some days, I can honestly say I think I've had enough, but what's the alternative? Don't answer that! Nobody really knows. We think we do, but the answer will turn out to be something nobody had thought of. The brain's wired so that we can never know. Here's something interesting for you: we know a lot about the surface areas of the brain, but if you sliced down the middle of one, there are a few curiosities in there. A list for you to google:
The Subgenual Cingulum
The Medial Parietal
The Posterior Cingulate Cortex (PCC)
Nobody knows what ANY of these areas of the brain are for.
The PCC is the one I'll tell you about. Apparently, if you scan someone's brain, and, whilst doing so, ask them to perform some token task - anything at all - the PCC turns off. By that, I mean its neurons stop firing. It's waiting. If the person performing the task stops performing it, the mischievous PCC switches on again, then turns off when the task is started again. Weird.
If a scientist is working in the lab, and his Posterior Cingulate Cortex has not shut down properly, the work he is doing is the work which will be most susceptible to errors! An area of the brain, about which just about the only thing we know is that, when active, it helps us to make mistakes. How odd.
Let that be a lesson to you. And me.
How's YOUR Work/Life Balance?