I recently met up with a former colleague of mine, someone I worked closely with during the hustle and bustle phase of my career. We would often run into each other at 7am at the office, both trying to sneak in an extra, quiet hour of work before others started streaming into the office, or would wave to each other hurriedly as we ran out of the office at 6:30pm trying not to be too late for dinner. That was all before kids…
Shortly after having kids, we lost touch almost completely, squeezing in a couple coffee dates during maternity leave and then the odd lunch date after our return to work. You know what those lunches consisted of? Us talking about how we were failing…how we were so busy at work, we were barely keeping it together.
At this most recent coffee date with my old colleague and friend, she asked me how I was doing…I said I’m simply happy.
Since I left that ‘always busy’ world and started pursuing a work life balance that truly fits me, I’ve realized that my conversation has changed. That broken record of being busy has stopped playing. Am I still busy? Yes, I am. I’m definitely not sitting watching Netflix all day! But the difference is, I’m busy with the things I choose to be busy with, and I enjoy a healthy balance of focusing on work, self, family, home and friends.
Am I happy all the time now? Of course not. Life still has its ups and downs. But instead of my typical day looking like this:
It looks more like this:
Being simply happy is exactly what I have wanted for myself. My experience of finding my personal balance has helped me realize that my happiness isn’t dependent on having more stuff, more wealth, higher positions, or more power. I’ve found the crucial missing piece of my happiness formula is the ability to spend my time the way I need to.
The reason why my friend and I met for coffee was because she had recently decided to leave her full-time job and take a breather to figure out how to structure her work and life in a way that felt more manageable, more enjoyable. I’m excited for her. She’s feeling scared but hopeful that she’ll end up finding the right balance for her.
Her goal? To be simply happy, on her own terms.