Image: David Goehring.

As spring checks in, the blogosphere offers us more diet tips, musings from Dominique Browning and others about life after the Japan tsunami, and why it might make sense to stop pursuing the perfect work-life balance.

  • Last week’s Japan news shook a lot of us.  Dominique Browning, at Slow Love Life, notes that she no longer reads her beloved New York Times on paper, when things change so fast, though she still prizes its online news: “Please take a look; the more we know about these things, the more informed we are as citizens in the ongoing debate about nuclear energy.” Earlier, in a post entitled ‘Spinning Out,” Browning says our worries about Japan speak well for us. “I don’t think ‘women have cornered the market on worry,’ as one commenter has put it … I think this worry is part of feeling compassionate,” she writes. “This is a time to pause, to offer prayer, wishes, thoughts–and to discover in ourselves, and honor, a new dimension of heartsickness.”
  • Speaking of Japan worries, Susan Carr-Templeton’s hard-headed economic assessment of the situation  at Today’s Chicago Woman is more optimistic than you might think: “Even though there are so many crises happening at the same time, there are many positives for the U.S. economy and emerging markets. I believe we will see new demand for commodities and infrastructure-type companies used in the rebuilding of Japan’s roads, bridges, buildings and plants. Also, keep in mind increased demand for energy and agriculture.” Overall, she said, the tsunami should be “a lesson to keep [our] investments diversified.”
  • Jill Nelson at Girl! Get me Started may have looked at these recipes before she wrote “Time Will Take You On…If You’re Lucky.” Nelson’s list of Creepy Things About Getting Older includes “Having to think about what I eat because of what my digestive system can handle. Forget weight and looking cute, I’m trying to make sure what goes in goes out.” But she follows that list-in-progress with one of Wonderful Things: “I realize most of what once compelled, bothered, or obsessed me doesn’t matter in the cosmic essence of life. Or in its mundane, banal essence, either.”
  • Work-life balance. Is it a personal goal? A political demand? Whatever it is, says Joanne Cleaver at Women Drivers, it’s a mirage, the reality long ago melted by technological change.  Before cell phones and the Internet, she writes, “You could parcel out who got what: 8 hours for work, divided into 6 + 2. Six hours for family, divided into 1+ 5. A couple of hours for chores and commuting, plus some sleep, and there’s your 24. Mobile technology, of course, has erased any semblance of balance. Women know that. Mothers-in-law know that. Now, probably thanks to a government grant, sociologists know that.When there are no boundaries, there is no balance.” Last year, she notes, the  Gartner Group issued a report that “that work is becoming ‘increasingly chaotic…. Faster responses [will] force continual change to strategic plans.  Teams will be replaced by ‘swarms’ that quickly land on a task and devour it. Work will be take place in your head, not at a desk or in a meeting.” Cleaver manages to wrestle a silver lining out of the new reality: all you need to do, she said, is embrace the blur.  “Having one foot on either side of the fulcrum isn’t balance. It’s a balancing act. Give in to the blend,” she writes. “You’ll be happier, too, because you’ll be going with flow of your life.”

Join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • dr pat allen March 23, 2011 at 9:46 am

    I loved everything about the Wednesday Five today, but especially the mirage of “work life balance”, or the new goal
    of so many women who opt out of full time work in their 30’s and find that life in the 40’s frequently turns out to be far from what they really wanted out of life. Those of us who have embraced full time work and managed the rest of our lives, perhaps imperfectly, need to speak up and speak out so that these generations of women can have templates of reality to evaluate. Most of my full time peers over 50 in many sectors of the employed life feel as though they are lucky now to have made the decision to work two jobs for 18 years as they brought up children and managed their work lives. No one ever told us that work and family would be easy. But, it is both possible and rewarding.

  • The Healthy Librarian March 23, 2011 at 8:37 am

    What a nice surprise to see my post about “Four Everyday Meals You Won’t Want to Miss! Easy, Delicious, Nutritional Powerhouses to Keep Stocked in Your Fridge”.

    That “Cheezy” Savory Oatmeal with Shiitake Mushrooms & Sun-dried Tomatoes was my invention, not Ann’s–and honestly, EVERYONE who has tried it–even the skeptics, loves it. Think amazing savory creamy risotto!

    The typical oatmeal with fruit cannot compare in “fill-you-up factor” or nutrition to this one

    On Sunday morning it kept me full & energized over 4 hours– through a 2 hour work-out, grocery shopping (right!), and helping my husband hang curtain rods. The regular stuff never did!

    You have to try it.

    And since I’m writing….as a 61 year-old, here’s the Best Advice I can give to any woman over 40:

    “The Report Card on the Healthy Librarian’s 2010 Simple Strategies for Staying Healthy and Happy – What’s Working, What’s Not, What’s New for 2011?”