For our life, what will we sacrifice?

There's a hint of that question hidden inside any discussion of work-life "balance" or "harmony" or "integration". (I personally like work-life "mereology"). We want to have it all, but we know that we can't. Something always get’s left behind. Whether it's from seeing the previous generations, from stories in media, or from our own personal experiences, we know that we can't do it all. At least not all at once. 

Nigel Marsh, in his TedTalk, puts the core issue this way: "certain job and career choices are fundamentally incompatible with being meaningfully engaged on a daily basis with a young family". I believe this is true, and it's a tough truth, one that we can break ourselves upon if we refuse to see it. It means that we may have to sacrifice a career for our family, or vice versa. But isn't there another way? 

I think yes, but there is some nuance. We may not be able to "have it all"; perhaps we shouldn't be trying to. We have limitations. We are finite. And we can see that as something to celebrate, rather than bemoan. If we could all have it all, where would be the choice, the individuality? It's in our choosing this path over that, this sacrifice for that value, that we express who we are. 

So yes, taking one path means we cannot take others. But we have the choice to choose our path. And it’s never too late to find a new one.

(I would also like to recommend a book I’m reading through on this, Designing Your Life).

Sean Troxel