A couple of weeks ago, I was cooking dinner for my sister and her son after they moved into a new house in Huntington Beach. While the garlic and onions simmered as the base for my Pomodoro Pasta, I was taken back to a cooking class in Florence, Italy. #humblebrag?
Although I’m not Italian, I’ve always loved fine Italian cooking. During the class I loved learning about the best ingredients, how to make traditional recipes, and there was certainly a lot of taste-tests along the way. 😉
One of the lessons that stuck with me was the three tenants of fine Italian cooking:
My teacher had described it as a triangle with three equal components. She said that without garlic, onions, and tomato, the triangle is unbalanced and the food isn’t as flavorful.
I can’t help but think that life is the same way.
I have three main ingredients that make up the foundation of my life, too. My triangle is:
When it comes to finding balance between my WORK and my LIFE, I use this philosophy to make my life rich and flavorful, too. Let me explain.
In 2011-2012 I had just started my business and I was in hustle mode. I had another job, so my schedule looked like this: I would work all day, have dinner with my husband, then go into my office and work until midnight or 1:00 in the morning.
Although I think that there is a time for that hustle, I also think there is a time for a period of rest. I learned that the hard way a few years later.
During that time, I received a call from a sweet, fellow entrepreneur friend of mine while sitting at my desk at 1:00 in the morning. She told me her husband was being rushed to the Mayo Clinic because they had discovered a tumor in his brain.
As I agonized with her and felt her pain, I asked if there was anything I could do to help. Her only request was, “Can you please go and hug your husband? Please kiss him, tell him how much you appreciate him, and how much you appreciate your time together.”
I immediately walked downstairs, sat down on the couch and said to JD, “I am so sorry.” I had swung so far in one direction that I forgot who I was and I had forgotten the things that are most important to me.
The triangle was out of balance.
Although the triangle is different for everyone, the premise is to understand that there has to be balance.
I know there is no such thing as perfect balance, so whenever I find myself being too invested into work, I have to dramatically peel the other way.
Do I achieve a perfect middle? Of course not.
But am I okay with running in all three of those directions at different times? Yea, that’s balance.
If you'd like to watch a video outlining my thoughts about work/life balance as an entrepreneur, you can check it out here: