- by Sam Hunter
What does it mean to have a balanced life? Moderation in all things? I think it’s harder for people like us, writers, whose work is always in our heads and in our homes. I’ve always thought that the things that take us away from writing are the things that offer us balance — family, hobbies, friends, other work, etc — but if they chip too much into the time we need for writing, that stressed, unbalanced feeling sets in again. Is a balanced life just another unattainable ideal?
I’ve wondered if I have one. Some days feel more balanced than others, so does it all come down to perception? If I can fit 7 things into a day rather than 2, does that make it more balanced? Or is it more like regression to the mean? While some days may seem radically out of balance, swinging from one extreme to another, it all eventually balances out in the big picture? In search of what others define as a balanced life, I looked around the web and found these various bits of advice about leading a balanced life:
-Figure out what really matters to you. (And what are we supposed to do with the rest of it? They don’t address that…)
-Drop unnecessary activities. (Again, this sounds nice, but which unnecessary activities would those be? Watching TV? Writing this Blog?)
-Protect Your Private Time (some of you are saying WHAT private time?)
-Exercise, Live Life in the Moment, Do First Things First, Set Your Priorities… etc. The lists for how to lead a balanced life are never ending. One webpage had 72 tips. Who has time to read that?
And my favorite, one that had the title “Multiply Your Time: 4th Dimention Time Management” which says that the author gained 28 hours a week by giving up television, which was time she could spend doing other things. While this might be a way to be more productive is it really balance? Shouldn’t TV fit in there somewhere? Like, as in the time you get to relax and NOT have to be doing other things? Forget it. There’s no way I am giving up my shows.
I’m beginning to think the best way to have a balanced life is to not worry about having one. To do what you do, get done what you can, be happy and forgiving of yourself for the rest, and ignore the lists telling us how to have a balanced life. This might be a good way to approach out writing as well, don’t you think?
So how about you? How balanced is your life?