A Balancing Act
Well-rounded. Balanced. Multifaceted. Wholeness. Pick whichever word suits you . . . and apply it to life.
There are various dimensions to life: personal, family, professional, avocational, community. Wholeness (the preferential term for me) means attending to all the areas of life in a way that creates a sense of satisfaction with the considered apportionment of time and energy across the board. To be sure, different aspects call for varied amounts of said effort and energy depending on timing and circumstances. For instance, the initial steps in one’s career might well require more input than years down the road. But at any point along the way it behooves one to strive for a balance, a wholeness, without which one will inevitably suffer.
A character in one of Tom Clancy’s novels mused about both the U.S. president and himself: “A person lives any job twenty-four hours a day, their sense of proportion is bound to get screwed up.” Proportion . . . another good word to apply to life-balance. If one concentrates too much on one area of life to the virtual exclusion of others, a negative toll will eventually be felt somewhere. This can often be observed with celebrities whose lives are dominated by their sport, music, acting, whatever, to the point where inter-personal relationships end up disintegrating.
The Hebrew language has another word for it: shalom, one of the best translations of which is well-being. A well-rounded and balanced life characterized by wholeness is one where conscious and purposeful attention is directed to the health of all its dimensions. Granted, it is always somewhat of a balancing act, but acknowledging the needs and working on each intentionally will most likely yield the opposite of a life out of kilter.