Why I Write About More Than Just Work-Life Balance?

Aaron McHugh

I never set out to write a blog.

I told myself, that’s the last thing the world needs, another guy with an opinion. 

This month marks my three-year anniversary of this accidental creation, Work Life Play Blog/Podcast.

I am passionionate about living a sustainable work-life balance that includes rhthyms of play constantly woven in. I want to master the Art of Living, not simply default to balancing my career with my family. I’m convinced there is more Life and Play to be experienced.

I’ve learned that my voice is best inserted @ the intersections and crossroads of all three.  My hope is that I have helped you blur the lines of distinction between where one starts and where the other ends.

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Why this Trifecta?

This is unrehearsed, but here it goes.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking through how best to explain this trifecta. Most people can usually get one or maybe two of these right.  But rarely have I met anyone who succeeds in all three categories of living.

Blurring the Lines

I want to live a lifestyle where the daily lines between Work Life Play are impossible to draw. I want the rhythms of my life to ebb and flow within this trifecta every day. In my old life, my life looked something more like this,

I work from 9 am to 5:30 pm.

I play on Saturday mornings.

I spend time with my family and friends on the weekends.

I’m in process of undoing these old lines of demarcation. I’ve learned that a more gratifying-joy-filled sustainable lifestyle is achieved by blurring the lines every single day.  becoming an artist of a Work Life Play lifestyle.

Work

I’ve witnessed a lot of sharks in the business world that seem to lack a conscious.  They accomplish monumental achievements but in the end they are miserable, lonely xxx.

One of my friends once said about himself,

I’ve had a front row chair to watch the Commanders of industries erect kingdoms, but their lives sucks.

 

I want to swim with the sharks, but retain my integrity, preserve my relationships and not become an “xxx”.

 Life

I believe living well requires that attention be paid to our relationships and our physical and spiritual health.

Life requires lots of relationships. Relationships can be a struggle and they can also be beautiful.  We cannot escape them so we should probably figure out how to live well within them.

I want to live well within relationships.   And when things don’t go well…

I want to clean up the messes I create and boast about the fact that I am and always will be under-renovation.

 

Personal health and wellness doesn’t happen on accident.  It takes a constant purposeful attention.  I want to live a long, healthy, active life without becoming obsessive about it.

I want to feel good at age 80 so I’m doing something about it at age 42.

 

As Rob Bell says Everything is Spiritual“.  In my experience, spiritual things are as inescapable as are human relationships.  I’m not interested in being an evangelist here on my blog.

There are a lot of other people who do that better than I can.  I do want to offer encouragement that this part of us can’t be ignored.

Some people seem to approach spiritual things like a toddler covering his eyes who believes his covered eyes make him hidden.  We know better, don’t we?  He is still seen even though he believes otherwise.

I believe we are seen, so we might as well get to know who is looking at us.

Play

Most men I know abandoned play a long time ago.  They grow up, get jobs, become responsible, grow a potbelly and settle for Fantasy Football leagues and Xbox games as their only adventures.

The world is too big, too wild and too mysterious to stay indoors.

 

I run, bike, swim, climb, fish, surf, and I’m working on learning to ride a long board (skateboard).  More importantly, I’ve learned to play amidst life’s difficulties, small margins of time and life’s obligations.   I want you to play a lot more.

Get muddy, try something new, play with your kids, go find an adventure and stop always staying at the Westin and get in a tent instead.

 

I’ve needed to put words to this trifecta combo, if only to help me make sense of it.  Thank you for being apart of this evolutionary tale these past three years. I hope its made a difference.

Keep going friend.

  • jodyberkey

    The trifecta is definitely a challenge. Since I’ve returned to teaching (at a therapeutic boarding school for boys with social and emotional struggles), my balance has been thrown way off, but we continue to work really hard to build the lifestyle we want. June 5, 2015 is our goal. Thanks for your continual words of wisdom and practical inspiration, Aaron.

    • Jody & Steve
      I’m compelled to believe that life is lived in and out of seasons. Sometimes, I find, that I have to cling to the true north bearing of my internal compass even though I’m surrounded by fog and no recognizable features of land to help orient me.

      Living in seasons where I can see the horizon, when I have the wind in my sails helps solidify what I know to be true.

      In the fog, I try to remember the sun on my face and the wind at my back. The season and the wind will change.

      May you three find more wind in your sails, sun on your face and the memory of the season of ease that you once knew.
      Keep going Jody and Steve. You’ve got this…

  • This right here…is why I’m drawn to you Aaron. There is a piece of it regarding work, I meant to tell you about during our epic mt bike weekend. It will have to come another time. I’ve worked hard, pursued life hard and played hard. Though the past year it’s come to a head that ‘hard’ doesn’t mean ‘well’. And I’m revising. Significantly. And amidst it, fueled by others of the same quest. Thanks for living out loud, brother. It inspires me greatly.

    • Kevin, I’m honestly… gulping back tears. I’ll give you a call and let’s schedule a beer.

      Ernest Shackleton is one of my few true heroes. After stumbling into the Whaling Station on South Georgia Island, twenty months of near starvation, ocean crossings in a dingy and a cross island arctic glacial crossing…He wrote in his journal, “We had pierced the veneer of outside things…”

      May we pierce the veneer of outside things together.

      • Again…I’m honored. You’ve left a print in my since the first time we’ve met. Literally. Let’s share that…drink. I’m more of a grape guy, than grain… That quote though, ‘May we pierce the veneer of outside things together.’ I need that t-shirt.

  • James Thomas Canali

    Aaron, cheers to blurring the lines of all 3 –work, life and play. I just moved to LA and stepped down from management with a coffee company I work for and stepped up in my second job at photo studio. I found myself coming home from Starbucks and just saying how much fun I was having now that I could just play. Learning as I go but I think play is integral part to all we do.

    • James Thomas Canali

      …one of the first eco-systems and marketplaces I believe was a the garden of eden and places like it–play and pleasure was intertwined in all they did there.

      • Jimmy -sweet relocation to LA. How fun is that? I like it ….mythical garden revisited via work life play integration. I’ll take it. thanks for your thoughts on this. good stuff bro.

        • James Thomas Canali

          It’s been great! Loving the SUN!

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