Mar 2, 2011

Striking a Balance

Phew!  Another day draws to a close and I’m feeling tired!  Writing doesn’t pay the bills at this point in my life so I have a day job like many people do.  Now I realize why my dad always told me, “Aron, there’s a reason it’s called ‘work’ and not ‘play.’”  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my job, but for some reason the sound of the whistle blowing at the end the day always brings a bit of relief and there are times when I really do miss the college environment with classes scattered throughout the day, allowing time to sneak back to my dorm room for a quick nap.

I’ve been out of school now for a few years and one thing that hit me pretty quick was the sudden absence of external expectation in my life.  As long as I could remember, someone (usually my parents, but not always) had expected something of me, whether it was going to school or trying to fit into the local teenage social scene.  College itself always demanded an exam, a project or daily homework.  Even the process of finding my first job required a resume, a fair amount of preparation, interviews and a positive attitude.

Now though as a working adult it feels like that entire phase of my life has come to an end.  Sure there’s the option to continue into graduate school or earn a certification, but those are personal choices with no one pushing me except myself.  I realize now more than ever that it’s all up to me now.  Talk about change sneaking up on you!  The rest of your life is up to you, Aron.  What are you going to do about it? 
That’s when I began thinking about how you really need to find your rhythm and strike a balance with yourself.  Work is one aspect of what you do, but what about when you come home at night?  I can’t tell you how many hours of my life television zapped away and truthfully, it’s wasn’t enough.  There are places to visit, books to read, stories to write, friends to make and much more.

I have a few friends that spend most of their time working and when they come home at night don’t know what to do with themselves.  I suggest to them that it’s as simple as picking up the phone and meeting a friend for dinner, as simple as going outside for a walk in the evening at your nearby park, as simple as visiting a local art gallery on the weekend, as simple as sitting down to a relaxing meal with your family.  Strike that balance, grab life by the horns and see what you can accomplish.  It’s the simplest advice, but the best way to live life is to actually live it and most important, try to enjoy what you’re doing.  Don’t worry you’ll get there J  I’ve found it’s hard challenge sometimes, but one worth pursuing even if you find yourself flopped out on the couch once in awhile, reaching for the remote control.

I’d love to hear about the kinds of activities or hobbies you do to strike a balance in your own life.

Photo courtesy of  Suat Eman