work life school balanceFor the next few days, I’m going into a reflective mode, and I suggest you do the same. Here’s my question for you: What would your life have been like if you had never gone back to school? Would it be a life of regret?

I was reading about this new book that’s recently been released called “Habit of a Foreign Sky.” The author, Xu Xi, wrote the book for her mother, who was studying to be a doctor until she quit to stay home and care for her children. Xu used the fiction book to explore what her mother’s life (and career) might have been like if she didn’t have the traditional responsibilities of motherhood.

Xu knows how consuming work – and regret – can be. She spent 18 years in corporate America, including jobs at Federal Express and Leo Burnett Advertising before she became a full-time writer. Being at the top is great. But being “superwoman” also means being lonely, tired and often out-of-touch with your personal life.

So how do you create a work-school-life balance? Here are some of Xu’s ideas: Do what works for you, not for your best friend, enemy or haters. Tell yourself the truth about who you are and what makes you happy. Do what it takes to succeed based on that truth. And, finally, don’t judge other women. Let them be and be the best you can.

“The conventional wisdom is that professional women all really just want to opt out of the traditional workforce for a more ‘balanced’ life of motherhood, relationships and love. But truth is, a lot of women love their jobs and are good at their professions,” says Xu.

“The power and influence women wield in their work can help them make social changes, influence business transformations (would we have day care at corporations if not for all the working mothers?), help other less privileged women in areas such as education, career development, entrepreneurship. And they are happier in their relationships because they’re doing what satisfies them,” Xu added.

What more can I say? Get pondering, people.

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