Aren’t my titles long?
I remember being privy to a conversation in email. One person was having an issue of a technical nature. The likes of this issue would soon pass. He wrote an email to his supervisor regarding the issue and after a bit of a rant ended it with deciding that this day was one of the worst days he had ever had. With many exclamation points and everything.
He wrote it to someone who just learned she had cancer.
It gave me pause. The recipient was unaffected by, and unaware of this irony. Nor was the sender.
I was, however.
The person having the bad day felt the need to describe it, to define the intensity of the badness. He was telling her, on his scale, where this was.
I’ve mentioned before that people who have gone through the most in life are usually those that seem the happiest. I know that personally. Having been through some amazing, movie quality, popcorn-and-martinis stories resets your internal ruler to what zero actually is. You know it, and it ain’t a hangnail.
All this leads me to ponder on balance, and specifically how balance differs for the two of them. For him an unbalancing event is a temporary work issue that can be offset by more coffee, some complaining and an assertion of his bad day being pretty far up there. With lots of exclamation points.
For the other balance takes the form of simply enjoying the fact that her body is craving food and providing a level of comfort after suffering through another chemo treatment.
Balance is relative
Balance is relative, isn’t it? We already know that balance itself is different for each person. For example, a job for one person can provide not only productivity, but spirituality and health – such is the case of a professional Yoga instructor. For another person their job may be income, but not much feeling of productivity, so they pursue other things like volunteer work, and belong to a gym.
But this is another level, the relativity of balance means that the same event has a vastly different effect on two people.
As I said in my talk (and article) Balance Through Transition, you make adjustments when going through a transition. Often times you are unaware of all the adjustments. And, more often than not, you keep making those adjustments after you’re through the transition. Autopilot.
She is going through a transition – on top of all the layers of her world is now another layer. She has to make adjustments, to cope and to give herself a sense of normalness. Having a temporary work issue is no longer in the category of ruining her whole day. Her meter is adjusted; she knows where zero is and an email issue doesn’t move her needle much.
So thusly that kind of setback also provides much less imbalance.
It almost sounds like she has a superpower, that her condition provides her with a certain clarity and immunity. Right? She can see things for what they are. A whole room of people are up in arms over an issue. She just says, “Meh.” It’s a kind of wisdom. This is the clarity that people in transition often have. Not all are aware of it, they just think they are focusing on the big issues, but they are actually treating issues in life for what they are. Their scale is accurate.
Imagine if she could impart that clarity and apparent immunity to the person having the horrible day? Imagine if she could sync up his scale, and the scale of others with her much more accurate scale.
Perhaps I can do that for her, by writing about it.
Note: I’ve slowed down on posting articles a bit as I just finished a fiction and am finishing up a book on balance. I’ll do my best to keep the articles coming. Assuming you’re reading them. 🙂
- AFL Podcast – Why Energy Is Key - October 15, 2017
- Don’t buy that crazy vacuum! - October 8, 2017
- AFL Podcast – Working from home part 2 - October 1, 2017
- AFL Podcast – Working from home part 1 - September 24, 2017
- AFL Podcast Welcome - September 19, 2017
- Podcast S1E2: Alchemy For Life System – what is it? - September 11, 2017
- Buzzwords: Don’t make my brain turn off - September 8, 2017
- Work Life balance, Working From Home - August 22, 2017
- The one time need and parallels - August 11, 2017
- Geometry and your journey - July 6, 2017