Balance, Or the Lack Thereof

August 25, 2011

This post is a part of the blogger series Self-Discovery Word by Word started by Ashley of Nourishing the Soul.  This month’s series is sponsored by Myrite of Tasty Life, and she has chosen the word Balance. To participate, please skip on over to to her site and get in on the fun. xo.

Balance is one of those things that we are always supposed to be striving for. We are told at a young age that there is a time and a place for everything, and that you are at your best when you multi-task your time and energy equally between your life’s objectives. We make time for our careers, while simultaneously taking care of our families, making room for our partners, and indulging in self-care. We pile responsibilities high upon one another, and walk extra carefully so that they don’t topple to the floor.

We learn at an early age that success is determined by our ability to balance work and play – that somewhere, if we try hard enough, each and every one of us possesses the ability to do it all.

I have to admit, I’m not really one for balance.

I have a tendency to throw myself into something full-force, obsessively thinking/planning/dreaming/creating until a project meets my extraordinarily high standards.

I have a tendency to be a little bit all or nothing. I prefer to “Go Big or Go Home.”

When I was in high school, I did extra credit between 12 AM – 3 AM when all of my friends were sleeping. I was the captain of the water polo team, editor in chief of the high school news paper, resident assistant in my dorm, and peer educator.

And when I’m off the clock? I am so far away from thinking about anything work related, I am able to pretend it doesn’t even exist.

Enter blogging.

The problem with the internet is that it never sleeps. It never shuts down for respectable period, so that everyone can get their ducks in a row and take a nap. When I’m sleeping, someone on the other side of the world is awake, making their dreams become a reality.  The thing about the internet is that if you allow it to, it will rob you of every last free second in your day. We buy smart phones, so that we have the internet at the touch of the finger, no matter where we are. We read a kajillion blogs a day, comment on everything that needs commenting, and inform our friends of our every waking move.

We can be connected all day (and night) long.

For someone who is not all that fabulous at creating boundaries, and tends to be a workaholic – falling in love with the internet and Medicinal Marzipan was one of the most trying experiences of my life. It filled me with more excitement than I ever knew was possible. For the first time in my life, I really understood how to do something – and I had never been happier. I was so happy that I started sleeping less, smooching my girlfriend less, going to the beach less. I was so passionate, that I spent HOURS on the couch writing, networking, connecting.

It was exhausting.

Finally I realized, I needed to post a little less. I needed to get out into the sunlight and run around. I needed to find some new things to talk about – and that meant that I needed to leave my house. In my heart, I knew that I needed to remember how to enjoy my life, how to shut down my phone and forget about my emails.

I needed to put as much emphasis on living as I did writing about what I wanted my life to be like.

These days, I still don’t understand balance, but I do believe in equal opportunity for work and play. I believe that we can pull the plug and regroup, and that the world won’t end.

Mostly, I believe that I deserve that.

How do you feel about balance?