As we hurtle up, and sometimes over, the mountain of financial security, we all struggle with our work-life balance.
Putting patients first, taking care of family, being busy earning, whatever.
No matter our background, status or role, I sense that we all share a sympathy towards each other on this. It is not easy for any of us.
For me, this means compartmentalising and switching priorities between biopharmaceuticals, family and writing about existential alien horrors, but not necessarily in that order.
Last week, my number one child made it to university. He settled in on Friday, and he’s still there, so that’s a good sign. Having overcome much to get there, including family autism and all that comes with it, he has humbled me with his achievement. Best of all, now I have a spare room in the house and the fridge has more in it this week than last.
His empty room was sad at first, but now I see it as an achievement. The longer it stays empty, the more successful Vicki and I become as parents.
And as my children become more independent, I begin to sniff the wind and smell the scent of free time. Something I haven’t had for over a decade, maybe two, yet I already know how I shall spend it because I realise that I’ve been making time and space for myself for years.
And so, now I’m getting to the point. My three tips for carving out a decent work-life balance are as follows.
1) Think of this as a life-work balance (see what I did?)
2) Spend more time with your children and family, they’ll help you to understand yourself (and what you want to do when you finally find the time you crave)
3) When you find out what it is, tell everyone what your real passion is. Tell the boss, the milkman, the dog, everyone. That way you can’t back out, and you’ll be surprised how many colleagues and friends will want to help you to get where you need to be
I realised a few years ago that I didn’t just want to write novels, but I was going to write novels. I told everyone as a way to pressure myself into writing a little every day.
I owe huge thanks to all those who have nudged and supported me over the years. Just by asking me about my writing, or not wincing when I talk about it, is invaluable.
Drop me a line if you ever want to discuss biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, autism, or existential horror. Just don’t expect to talk about them in that order.