Blend Work, Play, Passion & Power

Since I have learned to blend work, play, passion and power, I am a part of the lucky few that loves their job AND their life. Even though I could make different choices, I am satisfied that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.

I am a residential architect, a wife and a mother to three boys. While it is always difficult to manage a career and a family, I have found a mix that works for me and my family. It’s not always easy (or pretty) but it works.

While I certainly don’t have all the answers, these are a couple of ideas that have been rumbling around in my head. It seems like many people are dissatisfied these days, if these ideas can give someone a glimpse to some change, then I’m glad I stepped out and said something.

Forget the old fight for separation of church and state. That rule serves us well, but a more immediate fight on our hands is to abolish the separation of work and life. Where did we get so far off the path to separate our work from our life?

The one segment that still has this right (although also fading) is the American farming family. I may be romanticizing the reality too much, but the example serves my purpose. They seem to be following a true passion and they blend work and life seamlessly. Another example from the past that is now extinct is the shop keeper’s family that lived above the store. These people blended work and life together. One didn’t take precedence over the other – they both existed and made up their life.

Forget balance

The "balance" myth - the idea of balancing work, life and family - has led to separating them. I only realized recently that I have blended my work, my life and my family. There really is no separation. One doesn’t revolve around the others. They are all three there.

My blending is not right for everyone. Everyone needs to work at and find what works in your life with your family, friends, kids, career, etc. There is no perfect balance or mix, but one thing is painfully obvious: the 9 to 5 grind is killing us.

Try different things. Just keep working at it until one day you realize, this is working. Then, of course, it’s also true that it doesn’t look the same forever. There is a season to all things. It is a never ending pursuit.

Follow a Passion

Looking for a job rather than following a passion is bleeding the passion out of us. This may seem controversial, but here is my opinion: We have "well-rounded" the passion right out of our kids. For a few generations now, our education system has convinced us that young people need to be well-rounded.

I totally get that for the under 14 crowd. We need to expose our kids to as much as possible, however, at some point we need to encourage them to work toward something. We have way too many kids graduating after four years in college with no direction.

With the risk of sounding too much like Oprah, I believe that if you can follow your passion, you can be successful. When you are "well rounded" too long, you lose all of your sharp edges. Most successful people are covered with sharp edges. It is what makes them unique.

SEIze Real Power

Today’s idea of power is misguided. Too many times power is used to buy stuff and control people. I have always believed that true power lies in choice. When you have choices you have power. I have been blessed with having wide open choices my entire life. The choice to become a female architect. The choice to start my own practice and work at home. The choice to live my life where, how and with whom I choose.

Are you honoring your power of choice? Everyone has wide open choices. Work through whatever mantra is running in your head and holding you back.

It is a complex issue, but here is my bottom line: Do what works for you, but if it is not working, find another way.

I do not judge anyone’s life or choices. However, I do believe in our ability to change things through small consistent steps. If you are not satisfied, start with small steps, one at a time, day after day.

Satisfaction in life is the biggest blessing I could imagine. I pray that you can find your perfect blend in following your passion and seizing the power that is out there for you.

- Sheri

As Founder and Principal Architect of Springhouse Architects, Sheri’s mission is to lead Clients through the building process with the Clients in control and Springhouse as their guide, advocate and ally.  With over twenty years experience in Residential Architecture, Sheri brings knowledge and confidence to your custom home project.

Lisa Saldivar