On Sundays I meet up with a fabulous group of ladies from my running club to explore the trails, woods and countryside local to us. It’s my favourite run of the week and I always feel brilliant afterwards. We run up big hills, we talk, we laugh, we share a bit of club gossip and inevitably stop to pet dogs and chat to their owners.
Not all of us are mums, but we all have jobs and busy lives and families and partners. And we are all trying to balance the need to earn a living, care, support and spend time with family and friends and find time to do what makes us ‘us’. And for us, running is a big part of that.
A couple of weeks ago we were chatting (we were going downhill, most of the hills we tackle don’t allow for much talking) about the illusive work life balance that we are all trying to achieve. That sweet spot where you work enough to live how you want to but still find time to spend quality time with family and friends, and pursue life-affirming hobbies whilst giving back to the community (and do the housework, manage the kid’s social calendars, book the car service etc etc).
We rapidly came to the conclusion that it’s not a balance but a compromise. And it’s not just us doing the compromising – it’s our families, kids and friends. For me to enjoy my Sunday runs, my husband has to take on childcare for the morning. The compromise is that he runs or goes to bootcamp on Saturdays and I take the kids to swimming lessons.
I’m lucky my husband started to take his health more seriously at the start of the year by joining a bootcamp and, more recently, by taking up running. He gets it now and so the compromise is always beneficial to both of us. I know this is not always the case for everyone and I know I’m lucky that he’s so supportive – and so are my girls.
So our lives may not be in beautiful and harmonious balance, but the compromises seem to be working. We’re still running through fields, dodging cows and laughing about completely inappropriate things. (What they are – that’s for another post!)