Upon being asked how she was able to find balance in her work-dominated life, Charlotte Beers responded: “I think balance is highly overrated,” adding that “if you find your life is out of control, it’s probably a sign of being very alive and in the game.”
I loved hearing this and what Barbara Corcoran followed up with: “Don’t strive for balance; strive for anti-exhaustion.”
And the gems kept coming: After admitting to being in her fourth retirement, Beers said: “You are going to work longer than you think, so don’t get too unglued about the first 15 years,” adding that it’s important to “think about why you work,” and noting that her work allowed her, “to grow, to create an ever larger self.”
I felt like Charlie Simms listening to Colonel Slade dish out pearls on the plane to NYC.
This was the last panel of the event, and while I found all of the speakers over the course of the weekend to be inspiring, I can’t stop thinking about this one. These men and women, all seasoned veterans of big businesses, spoke candidly about their lives, about failure, success, divorce, affairs, etc. But I loved the bit about imbalance because that’s how life feels right now, and it feels good. So often it seems that Ben comes home, and I run out the door, and vice versa. But, when I think about what Beers said — “think about why you work” — it puts the imbalance in perspective. We both want to be engaged in meaningful activities — teaching a cooking class, being on the Co-op board, volunteering at various farm share events — and we want to show our kids that it’s important to make sacrifices and to contribute to things we feel strongly about. But alas, when life feels so busy, I can’t shake the words of my YouTube yoga teacher: “Balance, in both practice and life, is the key to finding inner peace.” (By the way, I’m not complaining. I have a happy and healthy family, and we live in a beautiful town with access to apple cider donuts at every turn. Just feeling reflective, that’s all. )