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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    The Loneliness of Going Solo, No Kids: Understanding Work-Life Balance

    In these times, where the pressures and expectations of success can be overwhelming, the term “work-life balance” is often heard. The ability to appreciate both the rewards that comes with a successful career while also recognizing and diminishing the fatigue, stress, and anxiety that come along with it is a challenge that many have to face. In some scenarios, people may have a partner or family to support them. For many though, going solo is the norm and it can generate its own kind of loneliness and doubt as they try to create a fulfilling life in their market of interests.

    The idea of life balance is not a new concept. Aristotle said “anyone can become angry - that is easy… but to be angry with the right person, at the right time; for the right reason, and in the right way - that is not so easy”. For those living a life of solo-ness, this proverb rings especially true. People assume that if there is no partner, then one can focus more on their career and professional development with little distractions from life outside of work. This is far from the truth. Even when nobody else is home, other issues may still demand attention such as bills that need to be paid, travel plans, social events to attend, financial planning, etc. With all these things calling for your attention, loving yourself and your journey towards a meaningful life is what is important.

    It is understandable if going solo and becoming independent are inviting prospects for some, it has its own challenges. Firstly, being aware of the tendency to just focus on materialistic goals can become stifling to the soul if not regulated properly. The feeling of loneliness when things are overwhelming gets stronger as it becomes harder to recognize any kind of strength in these moments. There is always a need to nourish human relationships and tending to this essential part of life can be hard when there is no other companion. It might bring into question topics such as whether there is another purpose for life besides goal-getting and career chase.

    Where does that leave us? There is the hope to discover a kind of balance between the two worlds. Taking care of duties and responsibilities of life doesn't necessarily take away from your quality of life and could possibly enrich it. Taking the time to appreciate oneself and setting achievable goals that also fits within a large vision reminds one that there is still happiness to be found regardless. Possibilities include starting a book club, learning a new instrument or language, focusing on creative pursuits and hobbies, traveling, or taking a class or workshop. All of these empower the individual to take hold of their life and cultivate the ideas they have inside.

    Naturally, the single life has its challenges, however those challenges don't have to be overwhelming. When someone sees beyond the immediate demands and carves a pathway between them, they will find meaning they never knew before. Wherever you may stand, embracing the freedom of life is a fundamental catalyst in finding a better balance between thriving singleness and taking on the responsibilities of adult life. And discovering that balance will enable you to move through the world with grace, light, and an inner strength that cannot be taken away.

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