2021 October Update

by | Oct 22, 2021

We’ve been thinking about the phrase “work-life balance” lately. To be honest, we’ve dismissed the phrase a lot in recent years, as it tends to be weaponized as judgement against numerous members of our community. We even may have thought, from time to time, “that’s not a thing”.

Underlying the concept is often the idea that work and life are separate, and that one is significantly harder than the other.

When talking to you, we know that isn’t the truth. We know that, for many of you, the work that you do whether in your career or business or farm or family enterprise is incredibly fulfilling and a major part of what you consider contributes to a good life. (It definitely is for us in Spring!)

We also know that there are some things that fall into the category of “life” that actually aren’t all that easy. Raising children, building strong relationships, managing health considerations, processing grief, and so much more.

The “balance” that we’re really looking for in our lives isn’t between these simplistic categories of “work” and “life”, which are somehow separated by a large mental wall. They’re not even separated by physical walls for many who work remotely!

The balance we crave is really between those things that drain us and those things that invigorate us. It’s between those things that give us great joy, and those hard pieces of work that are part of developing great joy. It’s between “want to” and “have to”.

The activities that we do in each area of “want to” and “have to” could fall into both categories of “work” and “life”. They could also fall into other, more substantial, and nuanced categories, like personal growth, partnerships, children, friendships, extended family, life administration (like taxes and wills and investing), and so much more.

What’s important is that we understand which of these activities in every category really call to us, giving us great energy, and which of these are important but sometimes stressful or boring. Finding a balance between these is about understanding that you can manage about 25% stressful/boring as long as you have 60% invigorating/fulfilling – and maybe 15% resting. It might be 30/40/30, or 20/65/20, or some other “balance”. The important thing is to determine what that balance looks like, for you as a person, right now – and to know that you’re going to have to reassess this all the time.

Our individual abilities to manage those stressful/boring tasks is reliant on the other pieces, the ones that give us joy and energy, and the ones that allow us to recharge. No two people are the same in this regard, and realistically, your needs aren’t even the same from year to year.

As we trundle through the last few months in our year of values, it’s important to remember to look for those places within our values that aren’t always about hitting the gas, but also about finding the brakes, locating cruise control, turning the stereo up and singing at the top of your lungs.

This month, we’re thrilled to be sharing with you our thoughts on the value of community. Those of you who have known us a very long time know that community is one of our top values at Spring Plans, and we demonstrate that each day in the way we work with you, our clients, with each other, as planners, and the volunteer contributions we make to organizations like the Advice Only Planners Forum and the Financial Planning Association of Canada (of which we are founding members), as well as the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and Family Enterprise Canada. As you read through this month’s feature we invite you to consider how you define your own value of community, and how it shows up in the “balance” of your life, in your work, your family, your friends, and – of course – your finances.

Spring Team



Practice Notes:

“Free” Fridays remain booked permanently in our calendars. These days are free to us at Spring in the sense that they’re our opportunity to work on becoming better planners, whether through collaboration and discussion, education, research, or even a little downtime. It’s been a regular practice since the summer of 2017, and we will continue to set aside the time to become better versions of ourselves every week. Even 1% better is solidly worth it, because we know that will be reflected in the work we do for you.

Planning News Digest:

BC Land & Property: Corporations, trusts & partnerships with a registered “interest in land” in BC must file a transparency report with the Land Owner Transparency Registry (LOTR) by November 30th. Read more here.

US Draft Budget Legislation: Draft legislation released by the US Congress House Ways and Means Committee, as part of the “Build Back Better Act” proposes significant changes to grantor trusts, estate and gift taxes. Read more here.

Powers of attorney are some of the easiest yet profoundly influential planning documents you can put in place to ensure that your wishes during any incapacity you may have in the future are carried out, while assisting your family and loved ones to deal with necessary matters in such circumstances. Read more of the O’Sullivan Law article here.

Feature from the Archives:

As the leaves fall, it’s a friendly reminder that change is happening once again. Another season has passed and a new one is on the horizon. When this time of year comes around, most of us dive back into our routines, communities and charities. This article is all about how to utilize Design Thinking, your values, and empathy to make the most meaningful impact in your own life and community.

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Julia Chung