This month’s installment of the architalks blog-cast is the “life/work”conundrum – how to maintain a balance between your job and your life….without going insane or going broke. I know, right….. So instead of going through the same old spiel of the basics – time management, loving what you do, blah blah blah, I thought I would take a different approach and simply ask:

What makes you giggle?

This question isn’t really rhetorical, nor is it facetious. It’s important to get at the root of a true life and work balance because there are very few things in life and in work that truly matter, that are most important, the ones that really stand out, stand the test of time  and don’t get deleted when the latest edition of Architect Magazine comes. These moments are almost never recognized for what they are in the moment itself. No, it’s only after some time has past, you look back and say “that made me giggle”. You probably don’t actually say that to yourself, but I do and this is my blog post, so shut it. See. That made me giggle.

I’ve always found the idea of a balanced life very interesting. Even before opening the doors of my own firm I liked to think there was an unconscious sense of balance in my life. I felt as if I teetered at least close to that happy median we all seek. But it hasn’t been until the last couple of months that I’ve really taken stock and tried to codify the essential elements that create a balanced life. I don’t expect happiness or success to find me. I don’t expect everything to just “work out”. What I do expect is that I have to work hard for the things that I want, the things that are most important to me. I have to seek them out and create the environment needed to multiply the best moments of my life – the giggles.

Because for me, and for most architects I would guess, there is no balance. It’s a complete illusion. The reality is you will have seasons where you work far more than you play and others where you work far too little and play even less. The real answer, if there is such a thing, is to create an environment around yourself that, no matter what difficulties, challenges, highs or lows come your way, you have an attitude and an expectation to find joy in everything you do. Giggle, snort, chortle and laugh as often as you can. Not only will you live longer (scientific fact) but you’ll live better.




If you like this post you’ll love these by other Architalks participants:

Enoch Sears – Business of Architecture (@businessofarch)
Work Life

Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
Work | Life – Different Letters, Same Word

Matthew Stanfield – FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)
Work / Life : Life / Work

Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
Work/Life…What an Architect Does

Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
The One Secret to Work – Life Balance

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
work | life :: dance

Mark R. LePage – Entrepreneur Architect (@EntreArchitect)
Living an Integrated Life as a Small Firm Architect

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
#ArchiTalks: Work/life…attempts

Collier Ward – Thousand Story Studio (@collier1960)

Jes Stafford – Modus Operandi Design (@modarchitect)
Turning Work Off

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Work/Life — A Merger

Rosa Sheng – Equity by Design / The Missing 32% Project (@miss32percent)
Work Life Fit: A New Focus for Blurred Lines

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
Work Life

Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Architalks: Imbalanced and uninterrupted

Amy Kalar – ArchiMom (@AmyKalar)
ArchiTalks #12: Balance is a Verb.

Michael Riscica – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
I Just Can’t Do This Anymore

Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC)
An Architect’s House

brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
Brady Ernst – Family Man Since 08/01/2015

Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
Father, Husband, Architect – typically in that order

Tara Imani – Tara Imani Designs, LLC (@Parthenon1)
On Work: Life Balance – Cattywampus is as Good as it Gets

Eric Wittman – intern[life] (@rico_w)
midnight in the garden of [life] and [work]

Sharon George – Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
Work = 1/3 Life

Daniel Beck – The Architect’s Checklist (@archchecklist)
Work Life Balance: Architecture and Babies – 5 Hints for Expecting Parents

Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
Work is Life

Anthony Richardson – That Architecture Student (@thatarchstudent)
studio / life

Lindsey Rhoden – SPARC Design (@sparcdesignpc)
Work Life Balance: A Photo Essay

Drew Paul Bell – Drew Paul Bell (@DrewPaulBell)
Work / Life



Lisa Saldivar