Freud said work and play made a whole man. Simplistic.
Leaving PTO on the table indicates one is out of balance. Who in their right mind wouldn't take paid time off? Answering emails and text during the night, never getting a complete 24 hours off, feeling indispensable and that no one else will do your job is unbalanced.
These same principles apply to homemakers, teachers, executives equally... We can be unbalanced with too much play and not enough work.
Balance looks like equal parts rest, friends, exercise, work, creativity, service to others.
Of course, this all ebbs and flows...sometimes we work really hard at deadlines, or have a much needed "taking a break."
To be unbalanced is avoidant...what am I avoiding or neglecting?
Balance is a discipline. Being a balanced person, living a balanced life, doesn't just happen because we want it to or hear people recommend it. Praying for it doesn't help...much like praying for muscles or laundry to get done won't work. It's a mindful, intentional practice and the benefits include more focus at work, more patient with children, more affectionate to our children, and more physically fit. What else is there?
The first step toward improving or
enhancing your marriage is to understand what happens when relationships
fail. This has been well documented by Dr. John Gottman’s extensive
research into couples that were not able to save their marriages.
Learning about the failures can prevent your relationship from making
the same mistakes – or rescue it if it already has.
In The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work,
Dr. John Gottman lists the 6 things that predict divorce. His ability
to predict divorce is based in part on his analysis of the 130 newlywed
couples who were observed at his “Love Lab” apartment at the University
of Washington. Among other things, he asked these couples to spend
fifteen minutes in the lab trying to resolve an ongoing disagreement
they were having while he videotaped them. As they spoke, sensors
attached to their bodies gauged their stress levels based on various
measurements of their circulatory system. This is what he found.
1. Harsh Startup
most obvious indicator that a conflict discussion (and marriage) is not
going to go well is the way it begins. When a discussion leads off with
criticism and/or sarcasm (a form on contempt), it has begun with a
“harsh startup.” The research shows that if your discussion begins with a
harsh startup, it will inevitably end on a negative note. Statistics
tell the story: 96% of the time, you can predict the outcome of a
conversation based on the first three minutes of the interaction.
2. The Four Horsemen
kinds of negativity, if allowed to run rampant, are so lethal to a
relationship that we call them the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Usually these four horsemen clip-clop into the heart of a marriage in
the following order: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling.
Read more about The Four Horsemen and their antidotes here.
means that your partner’s negativity – whether in the guise of
criticism or contempt or even defensiveness – is so overwhelming, and so
sudden, that it leaves you shell-shocked. A marriage’s meltdown can be
predicted, then, by habitual harsh startup and frequent flooding brought
on by the relentless presence of the four horsemen during
disagreements. Although each of these factors alone can predict a
divorce, they usually coexist in an unhappy marriage.
4. Body Language
Dr. Gottman monitored couples for bodily changes during a conflict
discussion, he could see just how physically distressing flooding was.
One of the most apparent of these physical reactions is that the heart
speeds up – pounding away at more than 100 beats per minute – even as
high as 165. Hormonal changes occur, too, including the secretion of
adrenaline. Blood pressure also mounts. The physical sensations of
feeling flooded make it virtually impossible to have a productive,
5. Failed Repair Attempts
takes time for the four horsemen and flooding that comes in their wake
to overrun a marriage. And yet, divorce can so often be predicted by
listening to a single conversation. How can this be? The answer is that
by analyzing any disagreement a couple has, you get a good sense of the
pattern they tend to follow. A crucial part of that pattern is whether
their repair attempts succeed or fail. Repair attempts are efforts the
couple makes to deescalate the tension during a discussion. The failure
of these attempts is an accurate marker for an unhappy future. Read more
about repair attempts here.
6. Bad Memories
Dr. Gottman interviews couples, he asks them about the history of their
relationship. In a happy marriage, couples tend to look back on their
early days fondly. They remember how positive they felt early on, how
excited they were when they met, and how much admiration they had for
each other. When they talk about the tough times they’ve had, they
glorify the struggles they’ve been through, drawing strength from the
adversity they weathered together. Conduct your own Oral History