June 28, 2023

Work/Life Balance – Part 1

Work/Life Balance #1

Back In the 50’ss and 60’s there was little to no talk of work/life balance.

Children of affluent families lived for their social lives Middle-class high School children worked for college and sports scholarships. Low-income High School students worked 4 hours and went to school for 4 hours for a total of 40 hours a week. They obtained their High School Diplomas and went to work 40-60 hours a week.

There was no thought of work/life balance. You worked to have some of the amenities of those better off and had off to spend with their family, rest or play, depending on their marital status.

The 60’s and 70’s brought young men to serve in the military. Many came home in pine boxes or not at all. Mothers, sisters, and wives became caregivers, widows without benefits or single parents.

Congress did little to nothing to make their lives easier. They got a triangle folded flag or a military ID to use the commissary.

More wars have created more wounded warriors and fatherless families. The list feels endless:

Korean War                         1950-1953

Vietnam War                      1955-1975

Laotian Civil War               1959-1975

Korean War                         1966-1969

Gulf War                              1990-1991

Iraq War                               2003-2021

Syrian Intervention          2014 – present

And dozens of other interventions too numerous to mention.

Congress declares war or approves funds for “interventions”. Women go to work to feed their children, get help maintaining their homes and yards and die from breast cancer after feeding them all for a healthy start and to save money.

These last few generations of women known as Millennials, Gen Z and Gen X, see no benefit to working that hard, and expect the Government to help out with policies and programs to support working women.

From longer maternity leave, co-pays for health care, and food banks, women can now get some help for their efforts. But it is not enough.

The rebellion by these generations is by women who see no personal benefit to working 2 jobs, having no time for themselves, and losing a father or husband to a government who has little regard for their efforts.

All these events began the mission to play first and work when you must. File for government programs and spend your days as you choose. Simplicity was born, along with the importance of work/life balance.

Conspicuous consumption, big homes, and fancy cars are losing importance, along with no time for yourself or your family. That equates to staying home more and putting family time equal with work time.

Eating out is no longer a luxury. But work/life balance is just as important to wait staff as chefs and CEO’s. Who will serve the masses in several industries as this shift in lifestyle continues?

The Pandemic created a need to choose having less over work. Families discovered mom’s low-wage job was gone, and some extras would go away. And families learned to live with less, have a mom at home and get much needed guidance and values. Ultimately, many women failed to return to minimum wage jobs. Envy and keeping up with the Jones’ abated, the environment became more important, college degrees less important, and life experiences increased in value.

Consumption fell, retail outlets closed, fast food chains altered their operations for more order kiosks and robots.

It’s summer and trips to deliver children to school are on summer break. I’ll be interested to see how many begin to put children on buses and save the gas for family trips.

It will continue to be a different environment if Work/Life Balance is the priority.

  • Next Week -W/L Balance #2 – How To Set a Work/Life Meter in Your Life.
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