My Quest for Balance

my quest for balance

The first followers

For my first 5 followers, you might recognize the name of this post. This use to be the name of my blog when I started writing a few years ago.

I changed my blog’s name when I discovered my true reasons for writing. I was so naive to think I could write a few blog posts and that would help me figure out how to find balance. But really, I was more like Barry the Bee in Bee Movie when he’s trying to fly back into the window.

Barry doesn’t realize that a clear pane means the window is shut but he keeps flying into glass, trying to get in. So he flies into the window again and again … this time {smash}, this time {bam}, this time, this time, this time ….

That was me. And man, did that hurt.

Is balance possible?

I researched this elusive goal for years. I discovered this guy named Tim Ferriss who wrote a book called The 4-Hour Workweek.  And then I found another blogger who works only 4 hours a day and makes close to a million from her online products.

How does anyone get anything done and work only 4 hours a day or in Tim’s case, 4 hours a week? It just doesn’t add up how they can get all this stuff done in such a short time.

Then I figured out the secret – they have a team of people doing the work for them. They spend their time managing their projects and then go on to live in their beautiful balanced worlds.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being critical. I love the idea of being so busy that I can hire my own personal assistant. But if I could make that kind of money, would I work only 4 hours a week? It seems like a lot of people are striving for this goal – to work less and have more free time to be with your family, traveling or whatever it is that you love to do.

I had mixed feelings about all this until I read a post from one of my favorite bloggers, Karen Gunton. In this post about her business resolutions and keeping it real, she shared her thoughts about being unbalanced. This was the best line: “i am tired of feeling like i am not a *good* entrepreneur because i don’t have balance in my life. whatever. i am happily unbalanced.”

Finally! Someone said what I was feeling.

I like to work. I look forward to Monday morning and getting back into my office. There, I said it.

While I totally understand the benefits of taking a break, I enjoy working and getting deep into my next project. I love watching the numbers of people signing up for my Challenge and getting emails from people asking me questions about my classes. I get so involved with my work that I often lose track of time.

And just being honest here – there’s usually a few days during the week when I work an extra hour or more when my son Jake comes home from school. I make sure he does his homework and then go upstairs to my office. I’m sure he could use some downtime after being in school and I don’t want to sit there watching Spongebob, thinking about all the things I need to do. Isn’t it better to be there with Jake when I’m, you know, there?

I’ve decided to give up my Quest for Balance. I ‘d rather be in a world where I can live happily off balance.

Photo credit: equilibrium

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16 thoughts on “My Quest for Balance

  1. Remember that old saying, “Different strokes for different folks?”  I think that’s what balance is all about.  I think it’s about what’s balance for you.  My balance was different when I had to work.  I didn’t feel that balanced then.  Now that I’m retired, I have been able to find what I think is a balance for me.  It makes me feel calm, cool, collected.  I do all the things I had planned to do when I retired, and things I didn’t even think of.  Balance is what you want it to be, girl.  Keep up the good work!

    • It’s taken me years to get to this place and if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that I can’t compare my life and journey to others. I can only do what works for me 🙂

    • I know, I always feel like, just let me finish that last thing so it’s not on mind. And then when I’m done, we can hang out together, eat dinner or whatever. It took me awhile to get comfortable in that place.

  2. Nice! One of the things I love about my job is that I can go grocery shopping in the middle of the day – granted, I may have to put in an hour in the evening, but I love having that flexibility. I’d much rather have flexibility instead of balance!

    Great post Penney! I’m really happy for your realizations and that you don’t feel the need for a quest for balance anymore!

    • I love the way you looked at it – working for myself gives me that flexibility to do what I want every day. I do work a bit on the weekends but I also get to spend extra time with my son when most full time workers are still on the job. Sounds like you have the same kind of scheduld that I do where you can spend more time with Mr T.

  3. I totally hear you! I’m unbalanced and sometimes I’m happy with it and sometimes I feel like I’m just doing a crap job at everything. Hmm. I might need some more work over here.

    • It took me awhile to figure this out. I use to feel guilty when I worked when my son was just watching tv and then I’d sit with him, and I kept thinking about something I needed to do for work. Then I realized, my son was ok with me working for a bit. I think he likes that time alone to watch what he wants or have his own quiet time. I think I made it worse in mind then it really was.

    • I agree, that’s where I use to get stuck. I’d see this person with four kids doing all these things and wonder why, me with just one kid couldn’t find a way to get through my list and spend time with my son. I found some cool time management tips and then accepted that we all have our paths. I just may never find that elusive balance but that’s ok.

  4. For the first three years of parenting (and working), I’d ask everyone I knew what the secret to balancing “it all” was. And the answer I got the most? That there is no true balance. Parts of your day get more attention, people in your day, in your week, etc., and somehow, over 365 days, it all kind of evens out. IF you’re mindful. My unsolicited advice? Make time for yourself regularly (haha, sure!) and if you like wine, find occassions to drink it! {Going to fix myself some wine…}

    • That’s great advice. I usually put myself last on the list but somewhere around Oct last year, I changed that mindset. I’m now scheduling a day off of work every month as my day to do what I want. It kinda feels weird when I should be working but I know it’ll help me feel refreshed and give me a break.

  5. I found your blog through Kate, and I like what you say, it is thought provoking – and I like working too! But I have to say that personally I do find there needs to be a balance too, a balance of work, income, time for the family, me, friends and hobbies. Too much of any of these gets, well too much, and I start missing the others (well, have not had too much income in my life yet…but I have had enough to be satisfied!). But I believe that balance may vary from people to people. And yes, flexibility in working times, as a mum of toddlers, that makes a huge impact on how happy I am in my every day life! Thanks for an interesting post!

    • As a single mom, I use to think that I shouldn’t work when my son was there. But then I started to work a bit after he came home from school and I noticed that he liked that alone/downtime too.
      I do make sure that add in non-work days into my week and take time off, even if it’s just to have lunch with a friend. I think what I was saying with this post is that it’s not my goal to fnd ways to work less. I really like my work. And if I made that kind of money like the people I mentioned in the post, I’d still work more than 4 hours a week.

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