Letters to the Community #3

Andrew Torris, Ed.D.

Thoughts on Work/Life Balance

The atmosphere of the school has drastically changed this week. Why? Students! Schools without students are much akin to pizza without sauce and cheese. Empty schools are dull and boring. We are so thrilled to see our students, who provide purpose to our work.

Work is a funny thing. Some people live to work, and others work to live. Either way, there is a need for balance, and we duly try to reinforce that idea of balance in our children’s lives. As we have moved toward bringing students back, I urge the community to keep that idea of balance and stress in mind with our own experiences as well as those of our students. The students, in particular, need that extra tender loving care (TLC). All of us—teachers, students, parents—are noting that we are concerned about our social and emotional needs. 

Inukshuk overlooking water

I was talking to someone this past week about “work/life balance.” This term has always stuck in my throat a bit, and to some extent, it has turned into a bit of a cliché for me. So much so, I have found myself using the term quite a bit myself. My children, in turn, have picked it up from me. My daughters and I had this conversation the other day about work/life balance. I shared with them that I always attacked the work/life balance dilemma by not avoiding “work” (that never works for me), and instead, I seek to put more “life” on the other side of the scale. 

Those with better work/life balance have better health outcomes, better marriages, tend to live longer, and tend to stay in jobs for more extended periods. Additionally, work/life balance gives us the ability to stay focused, engaged, and more attuned to others’ needs. No wonder individuals with this balance have healthier lives, better marriages, and last longer in their jobs! They arguably are much happier people!

My idea of “life” in this case is “fun.” I pour on the fun, which for me is cooking (on the weekends), finding a great book, finding some movies to watch, trying to get some movement in my life, and generally just finding some humor in my life and work. All that “life” seems to help keep that scale in balance. 

In my role, it is clear that the work won’t go away—at least not for me, so I pour on life. Live life to its fullest, learn something new daily, and laugh often!