Thursday, 31 July 2014

Balancing: The Impossible Task

I know I said my next posts were going to be stories from Austria, but at the moment the entire holiday has blurred into one, so I need to go through my notes, memories and photographs in order to put together something that isn’t completely inane. In the meantime, here are some thoughts on balancing in life.

We’re always told to have a balance in our lives. Eat a balanced diet, the ‘work/life’ balance, balance the books: all this is much easier said than done. It takes time and effort (and a hell of a lot of planning) to create order and structure into life, and I’m beginning to think it’s impossible to get it all right at the same time.

Today, for example, I’ve just got back from holiday and discovered that my bestie has broken up with her boyfriend. I’ve also just found out that my granddad is going to have major heart surgery over the weekend. I want to be there for my friend, and all the rest of my friends are going round to be with her this afternoon, but obviously heart surgery is risky and my granddad isn’t getting any younger. I know it’s an obvious choice – all my other friends are going to be with my bestie, so I need to go and spend time with my granddad, but that doesn’t make me feel any less awful that I can’t be there to support my friend.

It’s the same with work. As a student I already have to balance my course work with my social life. Throw a job into the mix too then everything becomes a whole lot more complicated. I need to work to earn money to pay the bills. I also need to work to socialise and spend time with my friends. I need time to socialise, but I don’t have time because I’m working (university or job). I also want to have a healthy, active lifestyle, but I want to go out and drink and dance too. It’s impossible to maintain both.

What has all this taught me? Balancing involves sacrifice, and a lot of the time working hard at one aspect of your life means feeling guilty about neglecting the other. Ultimately, you can only do what you think is for the best, and hope that the other people in your life will understand.

This might not be the most earth shattering revelation, but it’s an important one. Balance is good, but it’s not the easy option, and if you want to keep all the balls in the air you just might have to do some juggling. 

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