It’s not easy combining a rewarding career with a fulfilling and happy personal life – especially if you have a strong tendency to seek perfection in every thing you do!  It took a while but many years ago I had to face reality and accept that combining my professional life as an environmental scientist with with my personal life which included a family which eventually grew to 4 kids and a husband who farmed and was heavily involved with his industry organizations, left me little room for perfectionism!

So I worked hard at learning how to recognize when ‘good enough’ would do and I could move on to the next task.  I learned to accept that there would always be more research results that might be out there that could help me in my research – but there is always a point beyond which the return on time invested was far out-weighted by the need to move on and get my results.  I also accepted that I would never be the mother that always brought the best decorated cupcakes to class parties, or make the most perfect Halloween costume for each of my kids.   I would never be able to attend every class activity, nor chaperon every class trip.  Our family life was hectic at times – well most of the time – so redecorating the house every few years was not really on my radar screen.  But I made time for what was really important and learned not to spend time on things that would matter little down the road.  I realized that the whole work/life balance thing was a crock – how on earth do you achieve perfect balance, with the time devoted to work equal to the time for the rest of your life (which when you consider it means that everything is still, frozen in perfect equal balance – totally boring!). So, being a scientists, I chose to adopt a different outlook on balance, that of seeking a ‘dynamic equilibrium’ among things constantly in motion – kind of like my life! And it worked for me!  And much less stressful!

Which brings me to now – and my still lurking desire to do things ‘perfect’.  By I’m resisting the urge to let a need for perfectionism slow me down or get in my way to do things ‘just right’  Which is why I’m posting this video I made about having it all and the challenges of work/life balance.

It’s not ‘perfect’, in fact far from it!  But I learned a lot from making it, information that will help me make the next one much better.  And so I’m posting this very imperfect video as proof of my ongoing efforts to resist a deep seated desire for perfection.  If I can show this to the world, with all its’ imperfections, and be at peace with it, I must be making some headway  :-).


ThriveSynergy…Having It All Without Overwhelm, Burnout, Guilt or Regrets


So the next time you find yourself holding back or procrastinating on something, remember my very imperfect video and #JFDI .  I did, which is why I now have my first video posted on my blog.  If I can do it, so can you.


Until next time, THRIVE on  🙂







Karen Switzer-Howse

Canada’s Premier ThriveSynergy Strategist