Friday, July 14, 2006



All of us have our own definitions and expectations when we think about the concept of simple living. For some it’s living a life of purpose, living consciously in the here-and-now. For others it’s living a basic life, without the use of machines and techno items Sometimes it’s losing the clutter and living in a spare, clean environment. And often it’s just reducing the hassles of life--paring down to what matters most, however you define that.

I see the benefit in all these definitions. But one of the main points in my mind is the work/life balance. I know that I was experiencing a terrific disconnect between all the hours and the stress of work and having a life--finding that for all the success I had there, it left me precious little time for enjoying my real life at home.

I have been out of the work force for nearly four years now. Slowly, I’ve been creeping back in; little by little, dipping my toe in the water by consulting for a company here, and another one there. Now, just when I’d planned to enjoy a delicious summer in the garden, I find myself with two clients, both of them ramping up their work. Yesterday I received a call from a new company asking to meet me to see if I would be willing to help them out while someone is on maternity leave. When it rains it pours.

While I’m flattered by being sought out, I’m also hesitant to accept more on my plate. And yet sometimes I miss the fast-paced world of marketing. I guess I’m trying to decide whether I can make a life by setting my own hours (within reason and clients’ project parameters) doing work that I find interesting for clients that I like and still be at home. This seems to me to be the best blend; time for me, our family, home, and community plus doing good work and contributing monetarily to our household.

It comes down to choices. Choices about how we want to live, to spend our time, which after all, is really the only thing we truly have. It’s valuable. It’s worth thinking about.


Blogger PJ said...

I appreciate your post! I feel the same way. This can be a very deep feeling about this subject..then I always think how blessed I am to be able to think like this..alot of people simply can't for one reason or another.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You're right of course PJ. I am thankful every day that I have the options that I do. I realize that many people don't. However, we are all in charge of creating our own lives. Many people think that they may be unable to work from home and they might be right--right now. That doesn't mean that you can't work toward that goal. It may take a long while, but you'd be working anyway, right? May as well work toward something by taking classes, gaining experience, and building contacts that will help you in the future!

12:14 PM  
Blogger Wildside Musing said...

Everyone must make their own choices based upon their own set of circumstances and opportunities available to them... That is the beauty of freedom, although one does not always feel "free".

I think I can understand how you say you miss aspects of your former working life. Some people still don't understand why I would have left a dream job that paid well enough, especially when there was much I enjoyed there. However, it is far too complicated to explain to anyone adequately in a short amount of time... Especially if they are of not the same mindset or world view as you. Except to say, for everything there is a season, for everything there is a reason. And some of that is personal, not job or career related.

All the best to you as you find your balance! Not an easy thing to do.

8:28 AM  
Blogger Ellen said...

Great post. I "fell" into being self-employed. I was getting divorced and needed to get back into the workforce after taking 6 years "off" (never totally, but with small jobs now and then). First job offer I got was as a consultant for 6 months, working from home. I took it and haven't looked back. Now, 9 years and many clients later, I still haven't mastered the "leisurely summer" I always want (why DO clients always appear in June?) but I cannot imagine working any other way. You can always try it, see how it works for YOU, and decide not to continue.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Yes, it is difficult to find the right balance. I'm still fighting this battle. I don't think that the job will come about. But wouldn't you know it, another one might! Well, I'll just do my best and rely on my intuition. Thanks for the input you all.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Good luck with your choice. I've been working from home for eight years.

Be wary, though. Once you've decided to come "home", it multiples ... like rabbits. Since I came home, I started a home business, we started homesteading, we home-birthed and we're now homeschooling. It's contagious, this being "home" :).

7:07 PM  

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