Your Life Is not a Checkbook – Quit Trying to Balance It

Your life is not a checkbook. Quit trying to balance it.Many people talk about having a work-life balance. I’m not one of them. I don’t believe in a work-life balance. Life and work are too messy to be in balance. The two can’t be placed in some sort of ledger and be made to cancel each other. They are not parts of an equation that can be balanced. I’m not even sure that they need to be balanced, at least not in the way the word “balanced” usually is understood.

When I talk about work and life, I talk about leading a fulfilled and purpose-driven life. I talk about living an abundant one. I talk about living in tension between one’s wants and needs. I talk about sacrifice. I talk about ebb and flow and seasons. I talk about enjoying the here and now instead of worrying about the future or dwelling on the past (This an area that requires my constant attention. I’m a worrier and a perfectionist. Worry and regret can become constant companions if I’m not careful.). I don’t talk about tally marks or about putting everything in alignment.

Far too much energy is spent trying to balance work and life. The energy should be spent elsewhere. The two can’t be balanced. They aren’t based on some sort of a deposit and withdrawal system, although they can come to feel that way. Too many withdrawals leaves one impoverished, often in both work and life. Too many deposits, and the result can be the same. Work is not the opposite side of life. Work is the means by which one can enjoy life, and it even can be a part of the joy found in life.

Photo: Betsssssy (CC BY 2.0)


  1. I can’t argue your point. There is no balance that many are searching for. It’s more an an illusion.

  2. My life is actually more balanced than my check book! :)As lisabuben290 said, it is more of an illusion. Sometimes, one aspect is more troubled and the other more relaxed; but life goes on just fine!

  3. You are a woman after my own heart. My coaching approach is based on “embracing imbalance”, because the concept of work-life balance is, in the words of lisabuben290 , an illusion (or in my own words…prepare for graphic example here…”balance is B.S.”) I’m actually writing about this very concept right now, and will keep you posted. Cheers! Kaarina

    • KDillabough I wondered where you had been hiding lately. The writing cave, it seems?It’s good to hear from you. The past few weeks have been a little trying. You always bring cheer and leave some of it with the person you visit.

      • Erin F. That is soooo kind of you to say Erin, and just the “medicine” for the way I’ve been feeling lately…a little alone, a little disaffected. Seems like we might have been on the same “trying” path. But I’ve booted myself off that path and am forging a new one. Thanks: your compliment reinforces that, despite the “challenges”, I’m living my purpose. Cheers! Kaarina


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