Jan Fran on the myths of work/life balance & self-care

published on July 13, 2020

It's such an internet phrase, isn't it? Like, self-care You know, sponsor my self-care Although if someone did want to sponsor my self-care, I wouldn't say no to that The advice that I would've given myself five years ago — I would've told myself: 'Life's long' I think sometimes we're so used to saying, 'life's short' But 'life's short', I think, reminds me that I'm going to die

'Life's long' reminds me that I'm going to live OK, well how do I want to live How am I going to act today? That's probably the advice I would've given myself — that and chill! Life's long, you'll get another opportunity, chill out One of the proudest moments of my life probably came

When I got into UTS, which is University of Technology Sydney, to do a journalism degree Because I didn't get the HSC mark, because it was an impossible mark of something like 988 Who gets? Don't trust anyone who gets that mark In the year prior, I had just decided that I was going to do it And I put my back into it, girl —

Like, I was reading Tony Robbins, I was going to make this happen, and I aced my grades And I remember getting the newspaper and scrolling down to F for my surname, and there I was I think I was like — YEEESSSS! And I had this kind of moment of, like, "Oh wow It worked Applying oneself works" I think it helps to be funny when you're telling someone something important, because everybody likes laughing When you're having a laugh you're not having a bad time, you're having a good time

So, if you can sneak some politics in there, great It's probably the most important way of communicating something Because you can talk about anything, and have it be palatable and relatable if people are laughing I think the biggest way of navigating challenges at work, is to call it and go — 'Nup its too hard, I'm asking for help' Like I was sent to Nauru on my own I've been sent to Fiji, on my own, in the middle of a cyclone That was an interesting time Like, don't worry sitting there wasting time trying to it Don't worry about all the ego that feeds into, 'No, I have to do this all on my own'

Just ask for help, girl There's going to be someone there who will help you And if there's not, they'll know someone who knows someone, but you've put it out into the universe, it'll come back Ask for help I'm not really too sure why we've still sustained this idea that you have work and you have your life

I mean, your work is your life I don't think there's, like, these two things that need to be balanced out I think it really is just about balance in your life in general I think I was having a bad time of it, my friend was, sort of, sitting across from me "Well, you know, life is just about balance" You know, and like, continued eating her quinoa or whatever The lightbulb just went off when she said that

And I just went 'Oh, it's about balance' So it's not about trying to keep the good and swat away the bad It's actually about the two of them working in conjunction with one another Which is really what people have known for thousands of years But I found that out in, like, a diner, like, two years ago So, that's where the most profound wisdom happens

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