Creating Work-Life Balance

It has been a little while since I have worked for someone else in a corporate or small business office environment. I’m definitely an entrepreneur. Luckily, when creating content for PracticalGratitude.com, I have plenty of research material and business partners, associates, and friends who are working for large and small companies.

Close up of our food producing front yard, artichoke plant on right.

Close up of our food producing front yard, artichoke plant on right.

I greatly enjoy my home-based business with a cozy office that looks out on our newly landscaped front yard.  Sadly, we had to have a large and overly-tall-for-the-space horse chestnut tree cut down. Also, since we really were not using our front lawn, we had the grass taken out. We had the grass replaced with beautiful soil and bark berms and planted fruit trees including plum, cherry, fig, peach, and Asian pear varieties. We also have strawberries, herbs, lavender, flowers, an artichoke plant, and a few stalks of corn. The corn was the work of squirrels or birds. We didn’t plant corn but our neighbor across the street has a small plot of corn in his backyard garden. With our warmer-than-usual Pacific Northwest fall, we hope to harvest several ears of corn from these volunteer stalks and we have already eaten our first artichokes. We have had a fence built around the front yard to keep the deer out.

The fruit trees will take a year or two to bear much bounty. But our backyard apple trees and vegetable garden have delivered more fruit and veggies than we can use, can, or freeze. We love giving our produce away to friends and family and our local Food Bank.

I have chosen work and a lifestyle that benefits me and my husband and helps keep me healthy, mentally, emotionally, physically. My work-life balance favors Life. In addition to time for work, I have time for regular exercise, quiet time for meditation, outside time, time with family and friends, housecleaning and yard work time, time to prepare delicious food from scratch, and time for fun. Some weeks I might work 40 hours and other weeks might find me working 25 hours.

Magic the Cat and Lisa outside on a short break from work.

Magic the Cat and Lisa outside on a short break from work.

“Recent Pew Research studies show that while 66 percent of women rate career as a high priority, 56 percent of working mothers say it’s either very or somewhat difficult for them to balance work and family. But maybe it’s time to stop asking ourselves if we’ve achieved work/life balance and start asking: are we living the life we want? Because the solution to work/life balance is a subjective one. The biggest misstep anyone can make is accepting someone else’s version of what “having it all” really means — it’s up to each of us to live the life we want. You don’t need to know what you will be doing year after year and you need to be flexible when setting out on your own path. Trust me: you can live the life you want, if you’re willing to go to bat for it.”
To be honest, I am fortunate that I have help with projects around our house and yard. Once a month, Janet with Apple Blossom Cleaning, does a fabulous and thorough deep cleaning of kitchen and bathrooms. I have a couple of friends who help with weeding and other yard and garden work.
I hope you already have or can create a life that you enjoy with work/life balance!
Thanks to my Bellingham and Whatcom County, Washington professionals
who help us create and maintain an even more lovely home and yard:
Landscape design and work:
Kathy Veterane, Tapestry Garden Design  – kathyveterane @ comcast.net
Detailed, experienced, fine woodworker and contractor for home construction and remodels:
Ken Kutner – ken @ kutnerco.com
Front yard cedar and steel mesh fence contractor:
Tidewater Builders, Jason Mack – tidewaterbuilders @ gmail.com

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