13 Comments
Sep 5, 2022Liked by Nat Eliason

Lovely piece and really valid point. You've perfectly explained something I have found myself trying to live by without fulling acknowledgement of exactly why.

Perhaps work life harmony is catchier than life bucket integration? Harmony implies two or more things interacting to make something more powerful and beautiful than alone.

Though life bucket integration does give me a greater sense of active stacking of the different elements at once. Yet harmony sounds a bit like theres different stuff going on but they are all happy with each other.

Well my main point is this post is brilliant and it's making me think. Cheers.

Expand full comment
Sep 5, 2022Liked by Nat Eliason

You’ve reframed the work/balance well. Thanks

Expand full comment
Sep 6, 2022Liked by Nat Eliason

Another great article. Thanks Nat. I look forward to more material on how kids are realistically affecting and influencing your world. It is interesting to see the evolution of your thinking and output since you became a dad. Cheers!

Expand full comment
Sep 5, 2022Liked by Nat Eliason

I really like the insight about dedication to family vs work and societal acceptance. What I feel this article didn’t steel-man is the very real trade off that achieving a high return in a single area of your life sometimes means neglecting other areas of your life.

The trade offs are real and an exploration of how to make them without completely throwing away the one need would be helpful.

Expand full comment

Reading this article is a relief, thank you.

As a father/husband with a full-time day job and several creative hobbies (like substack-ing), a question that I ask myself often when I go to do something is, "can I incorporate 1 or 2 more areas in doing this?"

For example: working out. I could go to the gym + listen to lectures or the Scriptures (spirituality) Or I could go to the gym + go with friends (social). Or I could work out at home and allow my kids to wrestle all over me (family); my boy likes being the kettlebell for hip thrusts.

I try not to incorporate as many areas in one activity as possible because it reaches a point of distraction. Better to be content with 2-3 areas. You could have a one-man band playing 24 instruments, but a blues guitarist with a harmonica is probably more enjoyable.

Expand full comment

The effect here is the liquidation and erosion of freedom by supplanting of the work/life balance dichotomy. The puzzle metaphor is deceptive, as many tend to visualize puzzle pieces being uniform in area; work is hardly a single manageable puzzle piece for many. Often people are juggling 2 or 3 oversized work pieces. There are not sufficient workers who experience work as a harmonious component of their life for life/work balance metaphor to be less meaningful to them. Life/work balance is a crucial dichotomy that helps avail better working conditions for all. Articles like this find fellowship in union busting.

Expand full comment

Awesome read. Thanks for the perspective shift. I was wondering if I was all work and no play, but this helped me realize that it's just a bucket that is part of a larger ecosystem that is my life.

Expand full comment

I really enjoyed this article. Pursuing a time demanding career with a husband and 2 lovely children, and and a lust for exercise and travel, I quickly realized life could not be about balance. It needed to be about blending. I can't say I have mastered the blend to fully satisfy all of my desires/interests all the time, but it has worked for me most of the time - no regrets

Expand full comment

Agree on the point experiences are getting richer when incorporating more areas of interest. Just finished reading "4000 weeks - time management for mortals" - the author might call your article "another sign of the crazy thought that we need to do everything the world offers in our short lifes". Did you read that book and, if, I'd love to hear your comment on that!

Expand full comment