How Do You Find The Proper Balance?

life, finding balance, busy week, philosophy, humor, Friday Night Think Tank, Modern PhilosopherIt’s Friday night, and I am exhausted, Modern Philosophers!

This was one of the busiest weeks I’ve had lately, and it wasn’t because I suddenly had a lot going on in my life.

I simply decided to get serious about my fitness routine, and I had to try to find time for that in a week that already didn’t have much free time given my work schedule with overtime, my desire to write on a daily basis, my need to relax a little, and my hope to find a new relationship.

I know how to juggle, but even with those special skills, I was barely able to remain upright and not fall off the tightrope I find myself navigating lately.

I’m just in from a walk in the rain (I had to get my steps in, and I had no control over the fact that it was raining), and I can finally relax and head out to the Think Tank to get my Deep Thoughts on.

Anyone else ready to join me?  This is one block of time I always set aside because the Friday Night Think Tank is the perfect place to unwind after a long, hectic week.

This week’s topic:  How in the world do you find the perfect balance to fit in everything you both need and want in your life?

life, finding balance, busy week, philosophy, humor, Friday Night Think Tank, Modern PhilosopherI don’t know how some of you do it, Modern Philosophers.  I don’t have a particularly hectic life, there are no kids to worry about, and no significant other whose schedule I have to consider, but I feel like I am always hopelessly out of time.

Right now, my main goals are to work out every day, fit some overtime into my schedule, get some writing done, and try to relax and have some sort of a social life.

And it just doesn’t seem possible.

We are allowed to work ten hours of overtime a week, and I have been maxing out on that, but there was no way I could get in a morning run or walk and still put in a ten hour day at the office.

I tried, was getting up before dawn and then crashing every day around 3:00.

So this week, I decided to cut the OT substantially and only work an extra half hour a day.  That allowed me to still wake up at a decent hour and get in my exercise before heading to the office.

I had to sacrifice a nice chunk of change to do that, but it seemed the right call.

The main problem there was that when I got home, I was running on vapors, still had a nightly commitment to a bloggers’ group, and didn’t always have the time, energy, or creative juices to do any writing.

And there was absolutely no time to be social once dinner was done and I’d gone for a quick after dinner walk.  I barely had the time or the energy to play with the kitties and then crash on the couch to watch a little TV.

The fitness program is very important because getting back into shape is necessary for my overall wellness, but it will also boost my self-confidence and (theoretically) make me more attractive to potential dates, which will help me (I hope) get into a new relationship.

Writing daily is just as important to my self-confidence, but it is also a much needed coping skill.  My job is necessary to keep a roof over my head and food in my belly, but it is a major source of stress.  Writing counteracts that stress.  It reminds me that I’m more than a desk monkey and allows me to escape from reality, if only momentarily.

life, finding balance, busy week, philosophy, humor, Friday Night Think Tank, Modern PhilosopherSo where do I find more time?  I’m trying very hard to get eight hours of sleep a night so I have the energy to tackle my packed daily schedule.  I’m worried if I stay up later to get more done, the reduction of sleep time will come back to haunt me in the long run.

I feel like everything is upside down right now because I’m totally off balance.  The fitness plan is going really well, so I don’t want to have to cut back on that when I’m seeing such great results.

I’m open to all advice and input on this one.  Please don’t hold back…

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About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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25 Responses to How Do You Find The Proper Balance?

  1. davidprosser says:

    Instead of half a hour a day, why not do two hours on a Monday and leave the exercise because hopefully you’ll have don that at the weekend. You can lip the extra half hour in anywhere it suits you but will have time to exercise and write during the week leaving your weekend free for fitness and a social life?

    • Austin says:

      Well, I’d like to be able to do all 10 hours and make the max money all week. It’s a good idea, though, so I will have to consider it. Thanks. 🙂

  2. Oh boy do I hear this. Instead of the overtime I have two little girls, go to school part time, and work full time.

    My best weeks are when I set time limits for things. Write for 30 minutes, do 30 minutes of housekeeping, work out for 30 minutes. Change up the time limit as needed.

  3. I can’t see how, “To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women” is going to help add joy to your life…but you never know until you try.


  4. I struggle with all of the same things. I dont get paid for OT but it’s expected. I’ve found that many of the times I have the exhaustion you mention it’s because I dehydrated. Check your water consumption you may need to up it if you are being more active. I also limit FB and other social media time but frequently get sucked into the vortex!

  5. Epi B says:

    Geez, I’m Hettinger of breath just reading this. Sounds so stressful! You don’t need more time, you need to stop time all together. Stop. Breathe. Do nothing for a moment or two. Without feeling guilty about it! This will not buy you time but it will kill the need to be anywhere other than right here, right now.
    And yes, I’m a lazy fact so it’s easy for me to say… But I believe it works!

  6. Louise says:

    Austin. it really sounds more like you are doing, what we all do, and that is TRYING to please everyone ( inc. yourself ) all of the time not just some of the time. Man you also sound like your overdoing the fitness thing. Remember your fluids. Mindfulness is also a great form of fitness. we (your adoring followers) will not mind if you blog everry third day instead of every day + some. Yes there is so much to comment on BUT we don’t want you burnt out altogether. Consult the penguins, kitties, and Lucifer.

    • Austin says:

      I do try to pass off a certain amount of my workload to the interns, but we quickly discovered that when they do the fitness stuff for me, I don’t lose weight…

    • Ficklefifty says:

      I agree with Louise. Sounds like your are burning your bridge at both ends. It’s very easy to allow something good for you to become compulsive. Your mental health is as important as your physical health. As for finding potential dates, once you are physically and mentally well balanced, your will attract them. It just happens when you least expect it. I found the love of my life without ever looking for him.

  7. Doesn’t sound like dropping the OT is a viable option so here’s the sad news, Austin. You can’t keep up this pace and stay balanced. You’ve got to make some tough choices on a daily basis. Perhaps exercising 2-3 fewer days and doing the same with the writing. Your fitness will still improve and your writing will continue to stay fresh. You might even find time for some socializing which you need in order to find that special someone. Cut yourself some slack. You are trying to rearrange chairs on a sinking ship if you keep trying to do everything every day.

  8. Gail Kaufman says:

    I accept the fact that priorities shift daily, and in order to ensure I get done whatever is on the top of my list, something has to be sacrificed. I exercise first thing in the morning because that’s my priority every day. When I have to work overtime, then rest becomes my priority at night. When freelance writing business picks up, blogging suffers. When I get into that great blogging rhythm, I sleep less. The point is that balance isn’t about getting it all done. It’s amount being flexible, so the most important things of the day get done. Tomorrow is another day, Scarlett.

  9. artisluvblog says:

    Austin, you are doing great! Reading your blog was inspiring and the catchy title; well it caught me in its web. I too, do way too much, but in my case what suffers is my sleep time. It was great for me to read some one can write a lot of blogs, do their work including overtime, exercise, meditate and still have time to sleep! Thanks for the reminder, I must make sleep a bigger priority. I had always burned the candle at both ends and paid the price. I was allowed to live, so now I am a student of the universe. Sleep is hard for a night owl. Thank you, artisluv

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