Right out of college, I thought that "balance" meant the way that you divided up your free time.
_____ amount of hours at work, _______ amount of hours to play. For work-life balance to be achieved, the numbers would be as close to each other as possible.
Oh, younger self. (Shakes head.) Tsk tsk tsk.
If only you knew.
Now that I'm older and (only a tad bit) wiser, I know that "balance" is just the polite way of saying "How the @*$? am I going to get this all done today?"
Seriously, though? I've taken to writing "shower" on my to-do list. And I'm more than a little ashamed that it doesn't always get checked off. (Look for this in a possible second post entitled "This Is Why I'm Single Part 4, 987.)
Besides the hours I'm at work everyday, I try to accomplish a to-do list that looks something like this:
Most days, #1-3 get crossed off and then it's time for bed. Or I start Facebooking, which means I start defriending people who put up more than one engagement ring picture/sappy "I CAN'T WAIT TO MARRY MY BEST FRIEND" post per day. (But I'll save how I really feel for another post entitled "I'm Single and Wish You Were, Too".)
Everyone's quest for the elusive "balance" is different. For me? It means saying no.
Which results in a whirlwind of a week or two, at the end of which I'm up to my neck in piles of dirty laundry, my mom is calling the police to see if I'm still alive, and I can barely hold my eyes open.
Despite my excitement at actually having stuff to do (unlike my two years in the sticks of North Carolina), I have to continually stop and remind myself to build in downtime to my days and weeks. And if turning down the occasional babysitting job means I don't have the extra cash for something social, then so be it.
Maybe it'll even allow me to check "shower" off my list more often.