Episode 45 - Finding Balance in a Hectic World
Updated: Oct 8, 2019
In today's episode, host Jerrid Kalakay takes us on a journey into the concept of balance and how it applies to his life. Is balance possible? We have all heard the phrase "work/life balance," and is it possible what other types of balance do we truly need for the long-term. Jerrid proposes thinking about balance as different seasons and what is necessary for our lives for each season.
Jerrid Kalakay 0:09 Welcome to the Teaching Change podcast, where we explore issues social entrepreneurship, education, and innovation. I'm your host, Jerrid Kalakay. So in today's episode, we're going to be talking about finding balance. What does that mean? How does someone go about finding balance? And is it even possible? So on a previous episode, we talked about basically recharging your batteries, and understanding the need to restore oneself to stay in the game for the long haul. And the finding balance everyone talks about work-life balance.
Jerrid Kalakay 0:46 Is that a real existence? Is that even possible? You know, the thing that's difficult about finding balance is what are you finding balance with? So a lot of times people talk about their personal life and the
Jerrid Kalakay 1:00 Their work-life, you know, and then balancing the two or balancing one's family life with their friends' life, or balancing your work life with your family, friends, personal growth, all those kinds of things.
Jerrid Kalakay 1:18 I think it's a work in progress for pretty much everyone I don't know if anyone has would say, honestly, they found complete balance because it's, it's an ever-moving target, right?
Jerrid Kalakay 1:31 You feel like you're doing pretty well. And then you get thrown a curveball.
Jerrid Kalakay 1:37 You feel like you're on top of the world, and then all of a sudden you backslide or tumble down the front of the hill, all the way down to the bottom. And so it's kind of a constant struggle, a continuous battle to try to figure out where is your balance and where can it be I know for me in my life as a professor as a social entrepreneur.
Jerrid Kalakay 2:00 As a father, as a husband, as a son balance is ever elusive, many times, I'm trying to continually figure out what's the right amount of work to put in here, whether it be in my personal life or whether it be in my work life, whether it be my, my academic life, so forth and so on. And I think that it's probably a healthy conversation to have with yourself, not only with yourself but also with your family, with your friends, if you have a partner, so forth to really try to figure out what, what right now and this exact stage of my life, what does balance look like? What could balance look like?
Jerrid Kalakay 2:41 And I don't know if it's, I don't think it's going to be a perfectly balanced thing. Like I'm looking, I'm thinking about a seesaw, you know, and I'm, I'm looking for, you know, what point is a seesaw utterly horizontal with the ground. Very rarely have I ever in my life and all the playgrounds that I've taken my kids
Jerrid Kalakay 3:00 too, and probably all the playgrounds I've ever gone to as a child myself, have I ever seen a seesaw exactly horizontal with the ground?
Jerrid Kalakay 3:10 And so using that as a metaphor for life, is it possible to have a perfectly balanced life to have your work? Have your academics or your extracurricular activities, your clubs, your organizations, the things you do on the weekends, your family? All the requirements that go along with having a family and so forth are it ever going to be a possibility that it's going to be perfectly balanced?
Jerrid Kalakay 3:39 I don't think so. I think the answer to that question is no. And the reason why I say that is because I believe at certain times, it naturally should not be in balance ultimately, right. You've got a deadline and work, and so that's probably going to, you know, coming up that's going to be it's going to take a little bit more energy from you.
Jerrid Kalakay 3:57 One of your children gets sick if you are fortunate.
Jerrid Kalakay 4:00 have to have kids, or we know one of your dogs or animals get sick or your partner gets sick, or you get sick, then you know, obviously that's going to take energy away from your work.
Jerrid Kalakay 4:12 If you're pursuing if you're on a softball league or you're in a bowling league, or you know anything like that, if something goes wrong with that, and you're having a tough season or tough go of it, that might take more energy to try to remedy that situation try to get better at whatever it is you're trying to do. Right. And so I think it's natural to kind of oscillate between projects and activities and things that you're doing. And not necessarily be super caught up with everything has to be 5050, you know, exactly even across the board or 3333 33 and don't forget about the third and each one of those.
Jerrid Kalakay 4:50 That's probably not a healthy way to do things. I think a much more robust is to realize that with each season, different things are going to be taking our energy and
Jerrid Kalakay 5:00 Our focus and so what we need to do, and what I need to do more telling myself than I am, my listeners are, is to realize that every season requires different things from us and that we need to be able to focus on those things and not feel guilty about
Jerrid Kalakay 5:20 that, and then paying more attention to one thing over another,
Jerrid Kalakay 5:25 You know, realizing that the season will pass and that there'll be a new season and the new season will require something different from us. I think that's what the right balances. I think, in the end. That's what we really matter. You know, what do we spend our time doing, and how we do it on a day to day basis is essential. But I think in the long run, it's much more critical that we're in balance.
Jerrid Kalakay 5:50 On the long haul, you know, the long term for short term, so many things in this world, come down to the long-time versus short time, you know, what can we get done now in the short term
Jerrid Kalakay 6:00 You know, whatever that looks like, that's a day, a week, 30 days, 90 days a quarter, or whatever it might be, versus the long term, you know, what, what will matter a year from now, what will matter two years from now or four years from now?
Jerrid Kalakay 6:15 The short term versus long term folds into the seasons, and that concept I was talking about earlier with trying to figure out what the season of now is, and how you can find balance overall in those seasons. You know, with this being said, you know, I'm not advocating that anyone forget that they have a family for six months to get a project done at work. That's not what I'm saying. That probably wouldn't Bode very well for you, or your family, for that matter. Likewise, I'm not saying that suggesting that you forget about the fact that you have to go to work from you know, nine to five or whatever you whatever your work looks like because you know, something's going on in your personal life.
Jerrid Kalakay 6:58 But rather, maybe this
Jerrid Kalakay 7:00 It's a day or two that you need to spend in the office only and not worrying about other things. And perhaps or maybe the exact opposite is a day or two or so that you need to spend away from the office and not worry about anything but your personal life or your family life. And being honest with yourself, and being honest with those around you, both your employer or the folks you work with, and also your family about kind of where you are, I think is right. And I think that's a healthy scenario. I think a lot of times people try to deal mainly, men that I know, myself included, try to deal with everything on their own. I know I get caught in that often. Where I'm trying to deal with things entirely by myself, you know, if I, if I'm not able to do this and work, then people will think less of me they will need they won't think I'm as productive. They won't think I'm as good as I would like them to, you know if I can't deal with something in my personal life and my family life. You know,
Jerrid Kalakay 8:00 Well, what would that mean? So I mean, I'm not a good husband, I'm not a good father, I'm not a good son, so forth these all these kind of negative concepts, negative thoughts, that kind of go could go and permeate our minds
Jerrid Kalakay 8:16 Exists when we're trying to find a balance that may not be exactly possible. But when we're open and we're honest with the people that are in our lives, whether they be employees, employers, people we work with in general, our families, our friends, about where we are and what season we believe we are in and kind of what's on our plate. I think that we will more easily find balance in our own lives and in doing so will be much more successful on all fronts. And so, I'm inquisitive I'm interested in finding out from you all as, as my listeners as our listeners.
Jerrid Kalakay 9:00 What do you see the balance? As? Do you believe finding balance is possible? What is finding balance mean to you? You know, one of the things that I grew up on as a professional in higher education was taught was in graduate school and
Jerrid Kalakay 9:20 in graduate school at Florida State University in their higher ed program shut out to FSU
Jerrid Kalakay 9:26 Not doing so well in football, but that's okay. They're still doing well in the classroom. So good, good, good going. But in Tallahassee, Florida, Florida State, I will I went there for my Master's in science in higher education. And one of the very first things one of my professors talked about was finding work-life balance, and how can we do that as professionals, and I remember thinking as a 20, something-year-old and a professional preparation program to
Jerrid Kalakay 10:00 To work as a professional at an at a, you know, university or college, and we're thinking, wow, you know, that's probably not that big of a deal. Like I don't need to worry about finding balance because I'm just going to go out and I'm going to do the best job I could do. And I want to make a name for myself in this field of higher education.
Jerrid Kalakay 10:20 And I dismissed it all. And I think a lot of my classmates did as well. I don't believe that any of us focuses the time and energy that we needed to on having a conversation with ourselves about what that could look like. And I think partly because it's all in the abstract.
Jerrid Kalakay 10:37 You know, when you start to think about what your life is going to be after x or after y,
Jerrid Kalakay 10:45 whatever those x's and y's are, whether they're the graduate program, law school, medical school, college in general after you get married, you buy your house, you you know, whatever, whatever those X & Y's are you, you start to think
Jerrid Kalakay 11:00 Somewhat intellectually about what that's going to be like, but you don't know what it is. It's all in the abstract. Right? You never you don't know what it's like being a parent until you become a parent if you happen to be fortunate enough to do that, you don't know it's like to get married until you get married. Right if you're lucky enough to do that, you don't know what it's like to buy a car house, you know, so forth like you, you know what it is intellectually, but fully, you don't have any idea. So it's the same. It was the same thing for me when I heard about the work-life balance in graduate school. And it wasn't until many years into my professional life,
Jerrid Kalakay 11:38 that I start to realize that I needed to take some time for myself and my relationship.
Jerrid Kalakay 11:46 And for my partner and for, for our life together and so forth. And it was a long, hard road
Jerrid Kalakay 11:55 and lesson for me to learn because what I was basically
Jerrid Kalakay 12:00 Doing is I was trying to make the most significant impact on my professional life as possible. And so, you know, eight 910 15 hours a day, you know, working during the day and then going to events in the afternoon in the afternoon or evening for work
Jerrid Kalakay 12:22 was perfectly
Jerrid Kalakay 12:25 Perfectly acceptable, not only accept the Buddha is encouraged. So I would work, you know, my nine to five, and then
Jerrid Kalakay 12:33 I worked in campus activities, so I put up to put on events and concerts and different things, which is a lot of fun. But it also still works. And so I would get home at you know, midnight, or one o'clock in the morning sometimes. And I did this pretty extensively for the Liesl first, on a three-four. If you asked my wife probably ten years of my professional life
Jerrid Kalakay 13:00 I what I did in that is yes, I've made somewhat a name for myself at some level.
Jerrid Kalakay 13:07 But in doing that, I also neglected a lot of things I neglected myself my well being, and I neglected my relationship, I neglected my life outside of my work completely.
Jerrid Kalakay 13:25 And in the long run, that will never work. In the short term, it might have worked well in a particular focused area, but it won't work in the long run. And I and I still have a lot of colleagues
Jerrid Kalakay 13:38 Who I knew from that time, that that seems to be still doing that same thing or the seem to be still trapped in that same rat race. So I encourage you to think about, you know, what, what does balance look like for your life? What season Are you in? have that balance, you know, where do you think you need more excellent stability? Where do you think you
Jerrid Kalakay 14:00 Let's balance. Do you feel like you're in pursuit of that, that balance for yourself? And I would, and I would argue that and ask you is if you don't feel balanced, do you feel rewarded by that imbalance or you burdened by that imbalance?
Jerrid Kalakay 14:24 And that's pretty it's a pretty profound concept. So do you feel rewarded by that unbalanced? So if you are,
Jerrid Kalakay 14:31 whether it be in work or your personal life, are you getting the rewards wherever they may be for that imbalance or are you being penalized or you being
Jerrid Kalakay 14:43 Martyred or hurt by that imbalance? And realize that whether you're being rewarded or whether that imbalance is punishing you that the pendulum Chloe swing the other way,
Jerrid Kalakay 14:57 that your reward today could be a punishment tomorrow.
Jerrid Kalakay 15:00 vice versa.
Jerrid Kalakay 15:02 And the pendulum swings. Like I said both ways, the door swings both ways the pendulum swings both ways, whatever metaphor you want to use. So what we're rewarded for today might be what we're punished for tomorrow.
Jerrid Kalakay 15:16 And that's something that we all have to deal with, and we have to think about it. And so I would, I would encourage you to think about where's your balance? And where can your balance take you? And what does that look like? For social entrepreneurs for social innovators, balance is a really, really, really important concept. Because of balancing the the triple bottom line that people profit planets, they're they're balancing the social value creation, the doing well in the world, with the profit and the profit-taking models, the revenue, and so there's a lot of balance to be found in that there's a balance of the storytelling. How much
Jerrid Kalakay 16:00 How much of the story do you tell versus how much of the money do you try to make? You know, and realizing that you as one individual, as a social entrepreneur, social innovator can't do everything all at once? Right? You've got to build a team. Again, that is balanced. And so
Jerrid Kalakay 16:18 What does that look like in each one of your lives? I encourage you to spend some time this next week, thinking about that, analyzing that figuring that out. And then I will we will talk next time.
Jerrid Kalakay 16:34 Thank you for helping me kind of figure out some of my balance. This is an I have not done a single show. Just by myself in a while, I've had only guests on, and this week, I thought that we would like that I would analyze balance a little bit with you all, just as Jerrid Kalakay not as Jerrid Kalakay interviewing someone so I appreciate it. Hopefully, you enjoyed this episode.
Jerrid Kalakay 17:00 Your listenership, you probably noticed that we'd redone our website we've redone Teaching Change podcast calm. We've also rebranded some of our stuff for our third season, which debuted last week.
Jerrid Kalakay 17:15 Appreciate and honor your journey with us, and if you dig our podcasts you dig the show, please leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, or the highest compliment would be to share us with one of your friends. Till next time, be nice and change some stuff