For IPF:
Phone: 1-888-880-8222
Fax: 202-347-7339

For IHF:
Phone: 1-888-880-8222
Fax: 202-383-3905

620 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004

About Us


Winter 2007/2008

Canadian Corner with Linda Brodey
Finding Balance in Your Life

As a Lifestyle Retirement Consultant, I’ve always been an advocate of the importance of keeping a balanced lifestyle whether we are in retirement or at any stage of our lives. When we achieve balance, life takes on a natural feeling of rhythm, harmony and grace. A beautiful word in the English language is “balance” but it is a word that eludes many of us because we are so busy in our chaotic world of schedules, commitments and demands on our time and energy.

With retirement, hopefully comes the time and opportunity to balance our lifestyles. Having a balance involves many factors, such as our health and fitness, spending time with family and friends, time with significant others, spirituality, taking opportunity for growth, our physical environment, daily fun & recreation and money.

Wheel of Life Exercise:

So, how do we know when an out-of-whack period in our life is really becoming an out-of-whack way of life? A great way to look at how balanced your life is, is to do the “Wheel of Life Exercise”. Here’s how it works. Draw a circle with eight wedges and label each wedge with one of the following: health and fitness, spending time with family and friends, time with significant others, spirituality, taking opportunity for growth, your physical environment, daily fun and recreation and wedge #8 will be money.

On a scale from 1 to 10, ask yourself how deeply satisfied you are with each wedge of the wheel. If there are wedges with lower numbers, this often signifies that the wheel is out of balance and in that particular area there is a need for some alignment.

For instance, from the scale of 1 to 10, you give a “4” to health and fitness, it would suggest that this is an area that you want to work on. This visual map of your life allows you to see what works for you and what does not. You can then brainstorm with others close to you and create new ways of figuring out how to tackle the area that is not feeling balanced.

So, it’s time to ask yourself – What do you want more of in your life and what do you want less of? Then all you have to do is take some action and ask yourself how you can turn that “1” on your wheel of life into a triumphant ”10”.

If you do feel that a part of your lifestyle is “out- of -whack”, remember, it’s good to bounce your thoughts and concerns with those who you feel comfortable talking to. For example, this could be speaking to friends, family, doctor, clergy, retirement coach, social worker or therapist.

Another source of assistance is the Canadian Mental Health Association. On their web-site under the heading “Your Mental Health” there is a Work/Balance Quiz to see if you’re in balance. You might want to check it out. There is general information on this site and please read the disclaimer.

Also, if you need assistance, your Bricklayers and Trowel Trades International Pension Fund has a BAC Member Assistance Program. ll members and their families can reach MAP’s crisis intervention, referral, and information hotline at 1-888-880-8BAC, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Balance is beautiful when we achieve it. Good luck in finding your own special balance.