I get heartily sick of the challenge of raising a family being characterised in terms of work-life balance.
Who thought of that phrase?
It makes it sound as though the only things we need are to earn a living and spend time with our families. The implication is that so long as we’ve risen to the challenge of getting work and childcare covered, we’re sorted.
Well, I’ve got news – we’re not.
I need solitude
I have another need and that need is for solitude. I’ll say it again, but louder: “SOLITUDE.”
I need time to be alone/pray/write. (I use forward slashes rather than commas because I’m not sure if they are different things.)
It is that need for solitude that too often goes unrecognised and therefore gets squeezed and therefore needs naming in capital letters.
Earlier this year I agreed to give a talk on revelation, identity and social media at the Greenbelt Festival. I rashly took this on in January when I had just taken redundancy and therefore anticipated I might be twiddling my thumbs around the August Bank Holiday (ho, ho).
What difference three days makes
As a result I have had to clear the time (three whole days so far) to be by myself and do a bit of reading and thinking and praying and writing – whatever name you give to what I do in my study.
Do you know? It has made me feel so good…. I was able to pay attention to random thoughts that had surfaced and been left hanging around like odd socks for far too many years. I felt peaceful, deeper, ‘gathered-in.’
I must do this more often. I WILL do it more often. Prayer/writing/solitude might not get named in “having it all” features in glossy magazines but I’m naming it and I’m doing it now.