As my family’s breadwinner, I seem to be locked into a perpetual balancing act, darting from one obligation to the next, frantically trying to keep all of my plates aloft. And on a good day, I do just that – even though many are a tad wobbly. If I can keep that up for a week at a time, I’m a happy camper.
Last week was not one of those weeks.
My time and attention got eaten up by one plate (and you know which one you are). As a result, several others teetered on the brink of breaking into bits.
Oddly enough, I didn’t even realize it until after the fact.
While the unkempt house, empty fridge and multiple messages left in my cell phone’s voicemail inbox should’ve tipped me off to the fact that I had been neglecting my friends and family, it took my son’s high school graduation, a Memorial Day parade and not one, not two, but three picnics to get me to realize just how off balance I had become.
How can you tell if your work/life balance is off kilter? Here are five things to watch for:
1. You address your boss with a term of endearment normally reserved for your spouse.
2. You’ve downloaded your office’s conference call “Hold” music to your iPod.
3. You expect gifts from your children on Boss’s Day.
4. You know the night-time security guard at your office by name, as well as the names of his spouse, siblings, grand children and third grade teacher.
5. Before you consider filling your children’s request for an allowance increase, you conduct a performance review that assesses their activities and achievements against their prior year’s goals, then weigh the result against your household’s operating budget and offer them stock options instead.