A wise friend of mine believes we’re wrong to talk about work/life balance. Balance, she argues, implies that there are two sides and that they can be separate and equal. But most of us know that’s not possible. Inevitably, if I’m giving parenting my best effort, I feel like I’m slacking at work. And if I’m killing it at work, I feel like a failure at home. It’s a fool’s errand.

Chemistry, on the other hand, leaves room for each of us to create our own formula. Finding that perfect mix — and naming the elements of it — gives you direction. You can pursue the things that are part of the formula and (when possible) say no to the things that aren’t.

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