Many workingwomen are often perplexed by the legend of the “work/life balance.” This is the assumption that there is a separation, balanced separation at that, of working life and personal life. For most of us, the separation is quite a bit vague. Our life bleeds into our work and the other way around. Lines get blurry in the modern workplace, especially working odd hours, bringing work home, or working from home. Mental health and personal self-care seem to get tossed aside when life and work start gaining momentum. At first, a separation seems natural, but when is your personal life over and when does your professional life take over? Balance is needed but perhaps not in the way you think.
Soledad O’Brian, the award-winning journalist and entrepreneur, talked about her life balance with Huffington Post in an interview. We start by learning about her passions and what makes her happy. "Telling stories through people, really trying to understand human beings... that makes me happy, I like to do that…..If we can continue to do that and grow that, I'll be really happy."
Because she centers her life around what she is passionate about and what makes her happy, the work/life balance does not perplex her. She views the term as a sort of "false dichotomy."
"I never went into it thinking that there was going to be this balance of work and life," she said. "Your work bleeds into your life if you're lucky, because you like what you're doing... You want to have an intersectionality between the two."
O’Brian is a mother of four and an active journalist. Her work/life balance is not a separation, it is a healthy integration. Her life is about her passions and her actions emanate wellness. Her choices are about living a healthy stress free life, in and out of her career. For O’Brian, it is her passion and love of people and their stories that is the underlying thread for her actions. This is a new version of the work/life balance and it gives us the responsibility to create healthy boundaries in every aspect for our lives and reinvent ourselves with our passions. O’Brian’s radical views enable us to allow our passions to create balance in our lives. What an empowering idea.