The understanding of work-life balance has been changing over the years, and each generation has a different approach in achieving this balance. Find out what the Baby Boomer generation have to say.
Wayne Bucklar: Welcome to Booms Day Prepping. Our regular podcast about getting more mature in life. Perhaps not older, just better. It’s by Baby Boomers and we’re all Baby Boomers this week and we’re here to talk about work-life balance. And this week, we’re joined by our regular panelists Brian Hinselwood, Bron Williams and Amanda Lambros. And Glenn Capelli is joining us by phone and our regular co-host Dr. Drew is unable to be with us. I guess he’s taken work-life balance seriously and taken the day off. And that’s what we’re talking about today, ‘Work-Life Balance.’ My name is Wayne Bucklar and you’re listening to Booms Day Prepping. Now work-life balance is one of those things that I feel a bit guilty talking about since I don’t do an awful lot of work and I have an awful lot of balance. How about the rest of the panel? Brian, are you a well-balanced worker?
Brian Hinselwood: I’m very, very well-balanced. Being an actor of course, it could be argued that I’ve never worked. And in fact, one of my ex-partners many, many years ago used to get dreadfully upset with me because I never had any money. But whenever a bill came in, I’d always get a job to pay the bill. Whether it was the mortgage or the car payments or whatever comes up in life. I would always been in a television ad, or a television show, or stage production, whatever it was and I’d always be able to pay the bill. So I never had any money but I never had any debts. And I think that’s a pretty good balancing act. It’s getting harder to do as I get older I must say. I am not offered the handsome young roles that I was once offered. But yes, I think work-life balance is very important. I have a number of friends who are professional people and they work, and they work and they work. But I’m not actually sure they’re enjoying it, I think they obviously enjoyed their jobs and they’re obviously very good at their jobs. But there’s kind of no life. When you ring them up, ‘What did you come of on for lunch on Sunday?’, ‘Oh well, no. I can’t. I got to do’, whatever it is they do. So yes, I’ve had it very easy for my whole lifetime I must say.
Wayne: And what about you Bron? You’ve had a mixed career. How do you find work-life balance?
Bron Williams: Well I’m actually finding for the first time in my life that I’m really having to be intentional about this because I’ve rarely worked full-time. I’ve done a lot of part-time work background in teaching, a lot of casual teaching that sort of thing. But now that I have moved into a stage of my life where I’m actually trying to develop – I am developing – my own business. I find that my head is always in my business and I have to balance my head more than anything else because when you are building something from nothing, you are making something just purely out of what you know and what you can do. The responsibility, I find lies fairly heavily and so my brain keeps going and I’ve had to start to say, ‘No Bron, work’ and I try to do this. I work in the morning so for good solid four hours on whatever it is that I need to do in my business for the day. And then I stop and try to not think about it and I have one day each week where I don’t do any business work whatsoever because I actually find that my brain needs to stop thinking directly. But conversely, particularly on that day that I’m deliberately not thinking about it, my brain is still unconsciously working on stuff and I’ve come the next day and I have all of these ideas. So it’s actually quite a good thing to do is to give myself that break from it.
Wayne: And Amanda you are still in business, how do you find work-life balance?
Amanda Lambros: I think one of the things is the minute you realize that you’re not in balance is that wake-up call to get back into balance. And I think for me, as I’m married with two younger children and a few different businesses on the go, I had to make that decision. So I work two very early mornings a week and too very late nights a week. One day of the weekend, I choose to see clients for half a day and all the rest is family time. And I think when we we throw this idea around work-life balance, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a 50/50. It really does however need to be at what works for you.
Wayne: Yes. I’m a night owl historically. So my best working time was probably from 8 o’clock at night through until 1:00 in the morning or something like that. And then if you do that while you have a regular job as well, you end up perpetually sleep-deprived. But it’s very easy to do that particularly if you’re pursuing your own career or your own business and I’m not sure how it goes Bron with deciding not to think about work. My brain kind of has a mind of its own so as to speak and it does think about whatever it feels like thinking about. So I found that I had to actually distract it with something. Driving was very good because you couldn’t wander off to work if you were paying attention to driving. But if I was just hanging around doing nothing, I would have my head at work and to some extent, I still do.
Bron: Yes. I think it’s just about whatever it is. You found it with driving, I find that it’s Saturday for me is my day off and I make sure I have a book on the go. That that’s the day I look at the movies that we’ve got, we go and do some gardening. Yes, try to fill the day with things that maybe I don’t do during the week. But also when I find my brain going somewhere that I’ve sort of decided it’s not allowed to go today, I have to be intentional about pulling my thoughts away from it because you’re quite right. Like we can’t stop our brains from going in a particular direction, but we can actually choose to say, ‘No I’m not going to pursue that thought today.’
Wayne: Is there a psychology around this Amanda about how you control, what your head’s going to think about?
Amanda: I think one of the important things to understand is that cognitive behavioral therapy, one of the main therapeutic techniques that is used is saying “Think about your thoughts and how they’re going to impact on your behavior and then adjust them accordingly.” And I think that’s one of the things that when we go through talking about work-life balance with people because inevitably, it’s one of the biggest things that people come in to have a therapeutic relation for. “My work-life balance is out of whack or my partner tells me my work-life balance it’s out of whack but I don’t see what they see.” So it’s really looking at how your thoughts are actually affecting your behavior.
Wayne: Yes. And that kind of mindfulness I guess is a deliberate habit worth cultivating.
Amanda: And think about it also, if there’s two people in a relationship, each person is going to have a different perception of what their impact on that relationship is and what their impact of their work is and all that kind of stuff. And a different interpretation of how much family life they want to spend together or free time. And like Bron you said, for yourself Saturday is your free time. Well that might be for you reading a book whereas for others, it might be spending time with family, for others it might be barbecuing. So you really need to understand is it free time for yourself because that’s like self-care and compassion is really important? And then is it free time with others whether it be friends, or family or social outings and how do you balance that appropriately?
Brian: I must say Bron, I’m amazed that you can kind of categorize your week like that or ‘Saturday is the day I don’t do whatever. And I read a book, I spend time, whatever.’ And I can’t do that. I always have a book on the go. I’ll pick it up for maybe half an hour and I think I’ll go and do some work. And then maybe I’ll pick it up for three or four hours, then I’ll not do anything. I’m very impressed I might say that anybody can just sort of say, ‘Okay, it’s Saturday. This is my day’. Some people can do that. I have my day all the time I might say. To compartmentalize it, to put it into little boxes like that – it’s very impressive.
Bron: I think it’s came out for many years that I was a pastor with the Salvation Army and when you are working with a group like the Salvation Army and people are expecting that you will be on call 24/7 and you have one day off a week, you make that day off sacrosanct and you say, ‘No. I’m not doing anything today that’s got anything to do with work.’ So it becomes a learned behavior and it’s also a survival technique and I’m just finding that I’m needing to revisit that so that I don’t stress myself out in continually thinking about what’s the next email I need to see and who do I need to phone call, how can I find another client, da, da, da, da, da, da. So yes, it’s not good for me to be doing that and I’m such a disciplined person and a high-needs achiever, I’m really hard on myself. So I have to give myself some space to be kind to myself.
Wayne: And there are many Baby Boomers who are still of course working 8 to 5 kind of jobs and both at high management levels and at other levels where it’s not quite so easy because there is an expectation from the boss. There is always a boss whether it’s the board, or the managing director, or the director-general, or your manager, or the supervisor, or the team leader depending on where you sit in the hierarchy. If you’re earning your wages or salary job, there’s bound to be a boss somewhere and their expectation is often that you have your body present. So they want you in the office from 8:00 to 5:00 or whatever it is and I think in the last maybe 25 years, the expectation to work longer hours has got greater and greater. And many of my colleagues particularly in the U.S., they’re doing a 12-hour workday routinely as a matter of expectation. In Australia is not so much but still it happens in Australia as well. How do those people go about getting some balance in their life if they’re spending so much time behind a desk at the office?
Brian: Well I was just about to ask you Wayne before you said that last little bit, that having never had one of these jobs that the three of you were talking about, I would afford that was getting better the work-life. I would have thought more bosses was saying to their staff, ‘Hey listen, don’t forget to spend time with the kids, spend time with your partner, spend time playing football or whatever it is you do in your spare time, reading books.’ So is that not the case? I mean what you’re saying Wayne is people seem to be working longer and longer hours in any given day.
Amanda: Well I’m going to jump in on that one Brian because I think what I find as an academic, there are certain times of the year that we’re absolutely expected to work a lot more than others. And so when marking comes around or I could be at the office till 4:00 a.m. And so as much as people say like the university is a very good family environment and they say, ‘You know, spend time with your kids’ and all that. But let’s just say the verbal of what they’re saying and the actions of what they expect are completely different.
Wayne: Yes, I agree.
Amanda: So they might say, ‘Yes, we want you to go home and spend time with your kids. It’s not a problem but not during marking time, and not during lecturing and not during da, da, da.’ So then when you look at that and it all piles up. They really do expect you to be on call.
Wayne: And in the private sector, I make the observation that the HR department might put out nice circulars about work-life balance. But come the promotion time or the annual review time, come the performance review, the expectation is certainly that you will have met all your deadlines and you will have delivered everything that was asked of you and you will have done it on time regardless of how many hours it took and how many late nights in the office.
Brion: And I think there’s also a sense that ‘Busyness is next to Godliness’ that there is something intrinsic moral value in working long hours and always being busy. And I know that is one of the things that as I’ve got older, I don’t value busyness as much and productivity in the same way as I did when I was younger. But I also know that I have to still consciously resist the temptation to value my life by how much have I done during the day, how much have I achieved because I think that’s part of the balance too. It’s about recognising our worth as individuals just because we are, just because we exist. Not merely by how many hours did I put in at the office, or how many emails did I send or people did I connect with or whatever the measure is that we choose.
Wayne: And Bron, I’d make the observation from running my own business that you want to feel like you’re working hard and you want to feel like you’re achieving stuff. And so it’s very seductive to work long hours and be busy for that feeling of, ‘Oh I’m doing so much’. And it’s taken me, well it’s taking me 60 years to get the idea that what my mother told me was probably wrong when she said, ‘Well darling, you’re not very good at that but practice and try hard and you’ll get better and better.’ And what I’ve discovered in the last 10 years is I’m really good at some things and really appalling at some things. But it feels good to do the things I’m not good at because that feels like work and there’s a great sense of achievement. But if you do the things that you’re good at and you can satisfy yourself with those things, it doesn’t feel like work at all, it just happens and it just flows. And so there is a leadership model called ‘Skills-based Leadership’ which is about saying fit people into the jobs that require the skills that they are inherently good at and let them do those things rather than maybe the things they’re qualified for, or maybe the things they think they should do or that their parents think they should do. Instead, find the things that they already do well and just shape the work around their skill set which I try and do with myself as well.
Brian: It’s interesting because having mentioned your mother when I was a very small child, I can still remember my mother saying to me, she said, ‘You’re not terribly clever but you’ve got a lovely personality so just work with that.’ I became an actor with nothing else left, that was it. And I’ve done very well but I’m sure she meant it with lots of love. I mean I don’t think she was in any way trying to put me down. If she was trying to put me down, it didn’t work.
Wayne: It is extraordinary as a parent looking back with a child at mid-30s to think of all the things I said that in retrospect were probably disastrous advice. And we all reflect Brian at your age, you reflect on things your mother told you and these words have weight and I often think, ‘Oh they should have been an instruction manual before I was allowed to have a child.’
Brian: I just leave you the quote that my daughters don’t remember some of the advice because they’re not paying attention.
Wayne: They may not act on it but they certainly remember it, that’s a promise.
Amanda: One of the other things, since we’re talking about work-life balance, I think one of the really important things also to remember especially with our audience of this whole Booms Day Prepping, right? Is that they go from a work-life balance that they finally just established and get comfortable with and then they go into retirement. And so it really throws the concept of work-life balance completely out of whack because now you’ve essentially got 8 extra hours up your sleeve that you’re hanging out with yourself.
Wayne: And sometimes, I think that’s disastrous. Is it true that more people die shortly after retirement than would otherwise be the case? Or is it just a kind of self-fulfilling prophecies that we noticed because it happens? I don’t have the facts on it.
Amanda: I don’t have the facts on that but anecdotally, I would say that your spot on there Wayne.
Wayne: And the other thing Amanda is that my observation, it’s not just 8 extra hours because people, my father for instance, couldn’t wait to retire at age 60, he was a returned serviceman and saw this as his natural right to be able to retire early and that’s what he was incredibly anxious to do. But he didn’t just retire from his work, he retired from life – he left rotary, he left the local council, he basically withdrew from all of the things that he used to do into a very self-contained almost like waiting to die state. And of course he lived until he was 94, so this is like 34 years, this is a whole lifetime for most people. It’s the same time as from when you were 30 to 60 in retirement. So when we contemplate retirement now as Boomers, for many of us, we will spend as long retired as we have working or very close to it.
Amanda: Yes, it’s essentially another lifetime.
Wayne: So I guess in retirement, how do you get balance with something that substitutes for work? What do you do other than sitting on the patio playing with the grandkids and drinking endless cups of tea in the morning? What do you occupy yourself with as a retiree?
Brian: Sorry if I can jump in there. I have started to going to auctions and buying old furniture, and doing it up and then trying to sell this beautiful piece of furniture on eBay, or Gumtree or whatever. And one of the problems is of course, I buy stuff, I do it up and it looks marvelous and more often than that not I sell it. But at the moment, I’ve got five pieces in the garage. I can only just get the car in the garage. I’ve got all these lovely furniture. And so I’m quite happy doing it,
I love doing it and to see something go from the state it’s in when I buy it to what it looks like when I’m finished. It’s really very, very satisfying. It’s like gardening. With gardening you can see what you’ve done, you spend an hour planting flowers or whatever, you can see them immediately. And I think that’s another important point is you have to be doing something that you can actually see the end result of.
Wayne: We’ll come back to that point and some detail because I’d like to comment but first of all, I want to give Amanda and Bron a chance. Amanda, what about your views on occupying yourself in retirement?
Amanda: I think one of the most important things to do to really occupy yourself in retirement is really, really understand who you are. So what happens is a lot of times, people go from school and living with their parents to possibly more schooling to job. So you have your job and you’re retired and then you come out the other end but you don’t even know who you are. So a lot of times, people come in and they’re like, ‘I don’t know who I am, or what I like doing for myself or what my hobbies really are.’ At least Brian’s, he’s got a hobby that he’s identified that he said, ‘I can go out and get furniture and do it up and sell it’. A lot of people don’t even know that because they’ve spent so many hours just kind of going through life doing their 9 to 5 that they don’t even know who they are themselves. And I think so, if you are going to be a successful post retirement and for that next 30 year lifetime that you have ahead of yourself, you really need to take the time to focus on yourself and figure out who you are.
Wayne: And Bron, you were jumping in before and we cut you off.
Bron: Yes, look I think I would totally agree with Amanda and that’s actually where I base my business on is I work with people in their backstories – what are the stories of your life? What are the things we can find out about you in that and I call them, let’s find your unique superpowers because I believe that the stories of our lives that teaches things. It’s often in the difficult stuff where we have really learned some key things and some unique things and we can then build on that and I would totally agree that I actually think that’s one thing that Boomers had to offer younger people. So people 10 or 15 years their junior because if they have done that transition, if they’ve moved into a space where they are familiar with who they are, they like who they are, then they can help other people in that transition and that’s certainly what I do with my coaching because it’s really important. And I think Boomers, not only you have the opportunity to help younger people but they’ve also got the opportunity because they know they’ve got another 30 years of actually doing something incredibly significant and worthwhile with their lives in this last third of their life.
Wayne: I’d like to go back and visit Brian’s point earlier about needing to make something or create something, I have an artifact. Most of my careers being in computers and so you write stuff and you write code and it’s all very ethereal. Amanda, as an academic you would have experienced that where you go and deliver a lecture and the end of the lecture, you can’t turn around and look at it, you can’t show it to someone. And I guess Bron, you would have done a lot of that sort of work as well. And I find a need to do what Brian’s doing to create an artifact where there is something that you could put on the shelf and go, ‘Oh look at that.’ And so the hobbies that attract me are painting and pottery really because I’m not very good at either of them but really because there is something left afterwards. When you turn the computer off, everything disappears into the ether but if you have a painting hanging on the wall or a pile of mud on a shelf that you call a vase, you have something to show.
Brian: Yes. Look for me, it was always about keeping physically busy as well as mentally busy. Again for me, it’s more about if I’m just standing, I do most of my thinking, are you ready for this? You’re going to love this, when I’m doing the ironing. I do all the ironing at home only because I’m really fussy about how my clothes will line and I think nobody can do it as well as me so which delights my wife of course. She goes just about everything else but I do all the ironing. And that’s when I have any ideas that I have, that’s when they come to me. I’m doing the ironing, I think ‘I must add that to the little thing I’m writing, or I must be this, I must be that.’ So again, which brings me back to what Bron said before about being able to compartmentalize and put things into areas. I just can’t do that. I’m all over the place.
Wayne: I imagined you’d have lots of clothes with little pencil notes written on them because you’ve been had a thought while you’re ironing and the nearest thing, the color of the shirt you’re ironing at the moment. Well you might have a whole new line of clothing there Brian if you start with a laundry marker making notes on the shirt, so ‘bread and milk must get two dozen eggs.’ It could be a whole new fashion thing.
Brian: No, it’s not that. It’s more about I’m trying to write a few things and it’s more about thinking about where things go within the story that I’m writing.
Wayne: So what’s your view about how big a problem it is for retirees, is this a problem that lots of people experience or are we just making a lot to do about very little?
Bron: I don’t know whether it’s a problem. I haven’t done any research whatsoever. However, I think living intentionally is a really good thing to do rather than just allowing life to just slide by and there are times when letting life slide by is a wonderful thing because allowing things to come to you, leave you all that sort of mindfulness in the flow stuff, that’s great. But there’s also a need to live intentionally and say, ‘Look, I can feel.’ As Amanda said she has clients come knowing that they’re out of balance and so learning to live intentionally is about keeping that balance. Stay healthy – goodness me – our bodies are getting older and they have intrinsically more issues as they get older because they’ve been pounding in the earth for longer. Let’s not add to it by not living intentionally, by allowing stuff to come into our lives that is really not very helpful.
Wayne: We’re not having our walking encyclopedia with us with Dr. Drew being away this week. We don’t have the research but were he here, I’m sure he would know the facts and figures to go with it. And speaking of people not here, Glenn has joined us by the phone and I just need to ask him for his thoughts about life balance, just while he’s on the phone. Glenn, welcome to the show and what are your thoughts.
Glenn: Well team, the first thing if I can share my thoughts on work-life balance.
I think we need to be careful in how we use words and how words can become cliches for our brains and ways. So let me say straight out, I don’t like the phrase, ‘Work-Life Balance’ and I’ve never liked the phrase ‘Work-Life Balance’. One, because it presents things in a binary way – work, life, good, bad, right, wrong – and our brain is so binary we need to go beyond the binary and wisdom certainly comes and go beyond the binary. And also think about it, I mean work and life are not opposites and they’re not two distinct ends of a spectrum. There is life in work and in a good job, we can bring work to life and liveliness. So I say first of all, let’s try to overcome our mental predisposition if you like that the cliche of work-life balance and look for variety. Instead of that looking for balance, look for variety – a variety of pleasures and treasures in life.
There’s two Alaskan wisdoms I’d like to focus on. One is ‘Don’t Eat Yellow Snow’ which I think for example then turned into popularize the wisdom with the song. And the second is from the educator, Rosella Wallace, a friend of mine who says, ‘Variety is the magic key, the magic key is variety.’ So instead of looking for balance in life and balance to me is a bit boring, look for a variety. If you’ve got a variety of elements happening in your relationship, a variety of elements happening in your diet, a variety of elements happening in your health, a variety of elements happening in your work. The CEO of a major accounting firm once said to me that he gave a 100% of his time to family and a 100% of his time to Ernst & Young. He said, ‘Listen I know that’s mathematically impossible but that’s what I do.’ We had to really look at this statement because as wonderful as it might be, simple hold on where’s time to self in there? So a 100% alive for family, a 100% friends – no. Variety is the magic key. We need time for self, we need time for health, we need time for learning, we need to become creative and innovative and look for a variety of things we do within our work, like a variety things we do within our relationship. If we fall into too much of a pattern, we become too predictable and we’ve got to disrupt our own patterns or else life will come and disrupt them for us. So Rosella Wallace, good on you ‘Alaska variety is the magic key.’
I travel the world with a backpack for 7 years, I didn’t think I was going to, it was three months I thought I’d be away. But 7 years later, I got back to Australia. At 30 years of age, I established my business. Many, many years later a mate of mine who if we were in Western Australia, Western Australia would know who I was talking about because they grew up watching him on television. So he made his living in the creative fields as an on-screen personality. And he came to me he said, ‘Things are changing. Out of channel 7, we used to have a hundred accountants and now we’ve got too. We used to make 15 programs here in Western Australia, now we make none. We shoot the news and that’s it. I think my time in TV is going to come to an end. What do I do? And I said to him ‘KG’ because that’s what we call him, ‘KG, mate six areas of income. You need six areas of income.’ He looked at me and he said, ‘Why six?’ and I said ‘Mate, I’ve got no idea why six’. So when I got back from my years of travel, I’d set up my business, I had six areas of income. And three of them at any given time weren’t bringing in money, they were more future reference, they might do something. But having six and establishing a business allowed me to be sustainable. So my business has kept alive for 30 years because I think we’ve had six areas of income. And in today’s world, it’s kind of like everyone needs to have almost six areas of income – work out what your fields are and then work out what you can do with your talents and your fields. If you’re a bricklayer, you’re probably good at laying bricks but you also probably got a good eye, you’re probably good physically, you’re probably handy in a few other fields. So look for who can use some practical and doing intelligence beyond laying bricks, you might find other things that you can do. Variety is the magic key and once you’ve got your variety of things, your six areas of income, put a value to it, be dollar-wise. So you’re not looking for balance in those areas of income, you’re looking for variety. And I come back to my theme constantly, ‘Variety is the magic key.’ Work-life balance – no – work-life variety in life, work-life excitement work-life innovation.
Wayne: Glenn, that’s lovely. Thank you for that. Work-life balance is our topic today and we’ve been talking about people who are still at work and people who are recent retirees. I’d like to switch the conversation a little bit to now those people who are late in their lives, the people who are living in supported living or in nursing homes. How do you go about work-life balance when you’re in those limited circumstances and you require a lot of care?
Amanda: I think it’s at that point in time when you’re living in care and you’re dependent upon other people, it’s really important that your relationships, and I know we’ve spoken about this in the past is that your relationships, with your children or the people around you are need to be like the best they’ve ever been essentially. So if you want to leave, let’s say you’re living in a beautiful retirement home but you no longer have the ability to drive, so it’s you know, who do I call that I can trust to take me somewhere? Who do I call that can bring me out or that I can actually go and have a social event with? So a girlfriend that I can go to the ballet with or whatever it might be. I think having great social connections when you are at the point of being in a retirement home or living outside of your home is very important.
Wayne: That kind of shared living arrangement that you’re talking about where maybe for the first time since boarding school, you’re compelled to be with other people. You don’t have a choice about who is in the dining room at the next table or what the nature of the person is who is in the room next door to yours perhaps. That’s that emotional intelligence that we’re talking about a few episodes ago where I think there is a real need for that capacity to be very clever and very smart about how you manage the relationships with what will start out to be strangers and how you go on of course depends on how you manage the relationships.
Brian: Yes. I think it must be terribly difficult because I think in general terms, when people go into assisted living particularly their social skills aren’t as good as they might have been 20, 30, 50 years ago. And it’s harder for them in a lot of cases to make friends with people that they’ve met in the last couple of weeks because they’ve had friends for their whole life which they for a few years no longer see. And I think it must be terribly, terribly different. And I know these tens of thousands of people who live in retirement villages and assisted living places and who are very, very happy. But you read horror stories about people who are in one of these places and they’ve been ignored, they’ve been forgotten. And yes, the thought of going into one at any age, I think must be really scary.
Bron: I can only throw in about my mother’s experience and at nearly 93, she still lives on her own and she still drives. However, she still needs to balance her life because mentally she’s as sharp as a tack. We’ve talked about the same-sex marriage debate. So she’s right with what’s going on in the world but her body is failing. She now uses her walker in the house as well as outside, she has whole issues with back pain and things like that. So for her, the work-life balance is about coping with her body not doing what she wants it to do and she talks to me and says “There’s so many things I want to do” because inside, she’s still a 20 year old that she’s always been but her body is 70 odd years older than that. And I think some of the work-life balance is really a mental, well I think a lot of it is, a mental adjustment regardless of where you happen to be and that’s one of the things I’m trying to learn as I watch my mum age is to take note of the things that she struggled with. Because I hopefully will get to that age too and I would like to not necessarily do it better than mum but if I can learn from watching her and about working with my body as it ages and not allowing the frustrations to creep in as much as they might because my body doesn’t do what it used to do. So I think regardless of where our situation is that work-life balance is huge. Like she will drive into town once a week, but the next day she’s whacked. So she knows she can’t go into town two days in a row. She just basically be exhausted.
Amanda: And I think an important thing about that Bron is understanding the limitations. So your mom has come to the point that she goes, ‘You know what, I can’t do this two days in a row.’ People really have to understand their limitations and feel comfortable saying that to other people to actually say, ‘You know what, I just can’t make it out again today. My body is acting against me or whatever it might be’ and then feeling comfortable to say, ‘How about you come my way? And on your way, stop off at the cafe and grab a coffee and a muffin on your way too.’ So I think that’s where we let ourselves down is often times, we don’t feel that we can say that and so we go, ‘Okay, I’ll go out with you’ and then you’re in even more strife later on.
Wayne: And it is an issue of aging that we do get less and less facility out of our bodies and eventually for a lot other people, less and less still out of their mind as well. And even as a spritely young 60 year old, the knees creak where they never used to and things don’t quite bend as well as they should and all that sort of stuff. So it is a matter of making sensible choices and I guess that idea of emotional intelligence is vitally important in that.
Bron: I think we need to take that word ‘Should’ out of our vocabulary as we age because my partner is really good at that. He gets very frustrated when he gets more tired more quickly then he feels he should. But he is five years older than I am, he’s in his mid to late 60’s and so he’s been around on the earth that little bit longer. And I think one of the challenges for us regardless of where we are as Boomers to accept our body’s aging a wonderful way and I don’t mean just giving up and saying, ‘Oh you know, we’re going to be a decrepit slob.’ And just saying, ‘This is my body. It’s actually put being some really hard yards over the years and I want to rejoice in what it’s like at the moment and work with it as it is at the moment.’
Brian: And I think one of the things to that Bron is and we’ve touched on this many times over the last few weeks is that and you talking about your mother at being 93 I think that, but in her head she’s 24 or something. And I think this is like a major problem. We all think, ‘Oh I should be able to do this’ and then when you try to do it and you can’t sort to stand up or jump up or whatever it might be. It comes as a nasty shock and say ‘A couple of years ago, I’m sure I can do that.’
Wayne: A colleague of mine also wants to ban ‘should’ but for a different reason he says that it should comes with a sense of guilt. ‘I should have done that, I should have done this’ and he insists on using ‘Could.’ ‘I could have done that but I chose not to’ rather than ‘I should have done that and now I have to feel guilty about it.’ So I thought you’re going to do that story but that’s that’s one of his and it is surprising how much we’d listen to what we say in our own heads and the impact it has. I guess Amanda, it’s not surprising for you in your line of work.
Amanda: No, not at all. And I think having those ideas and especially the example you just gave of saying the ‘Could’ and not feeling guilty about the ‘Shoulds’ is really important. And it’s one word, people go, ‘Oh yes, but it’s just one word’ but it absolutely shifts where your mindset is at.
Wayne: Yes. And since my body had to come on some pretty awful adventures with me over the years, I think it deserves some sympathy. I have not being kind to it, I really haven’t. I should say to everyone and to Glenn if he’s still on the line, it’s been wonderful having a chat with you today about work-life balance. Do we have any closing thoughts?
Amanda: I think my closing thought will be that understand that work-life balance is going to be different for every single one of you. And so really make your work-life balance or your non work-life balance, one of the best that it can be for you to represent who you are.
Bron: And I would say be intentional about your work-life balance so that you can live best life that you can and achieve the things you still want to achieve but also enjoy your life the way it is.
Brian: And I would say, I agree with both Amanda and Bron. I think it’s very important that the individual is happy with what they’re doing.Not to the exclusion of other people but if you’re not happy, nobody else around you can be happy. So whatever gives you that, then that’s what you should be doing, you should be looking at yourself first and then hoping that makes everybody else happy.
Wayne: And so we come to the end of our podcast and to Brian, Bron, Amanda and Glenn, thank you for your contributions today and for joining us. My parting thoughts a little different from the others. I want to tell the story about a pair of shoes. One of the things that occurred to me after years and years of tromping around in my other favorite R.M. Williams boots, I found that I was getting a crooked back and sore arches and all these other things that happen to old people that I didn’t feel should happen to me. But the podiatrist put me on to Ecco Loafers because they suit people with short fat feet which I have and they have the appropriate bits and pieces that podiatrists care about that I can’t go into. But I would invite you, if you have sore feet and a crooked back and you’d like to try the loafers that I wear, we have a link on our website and you can buy them online and if they’re in my size and they don’t fit, I’ll buy them off you afterwards but only if you’re wearing size 38s. With that thought and a little bit of blatant commercialism, thank you for joining us on the podcast today and do click on the buttons below. Tell us what you think, click on the like buttons, click on the icons. If you’re listening to this on one of those subscription services, you can click ‘Subscribe’ and it will be delivered. Everytime we do an episode, it’ll be delivered to your phone or your computer to listen to it at your leisure. We do appreciate you being with us today. And so having clicked the like buttons, click the ‘Yes’ button, click the ‘Subscribe’ button, look for us again in about a week’s time before we begin our Christmas break where will be away for a little while. But otherwise, thank you for being with us. Do share your thoughts on Facebook and on the social media, we love to hear from you all. This is Booms Day Prepping, my name is Wayne Bucklar.