Sometimes it feels like life is about finding balance. Balancing work and play, planning for the future versus living in the present, balancing what we need to do with what we want to do.
I think for writers this balancing act is especially relevant. Many of us are balancing a writing career with working day jobs or raising a family. On a daily basis, I attempt to balance caring for my elderly animals with teaching at a university, writing fantasy/paranormal stories, and spending time with my husband—not to mention the day-to-day items such as paying bills, cooking meals, and hometending.
I’m thinking about this because my husband and I are trying to find that balance. How do we ensure we have adequate savings for the future—for emergencies or for our golden years—with living in the present? We want to travel, to see Hawaii, California, Paris, England. But we also don’t want to be broke during our retirement. And we do want to retire someday.
Ultimately it’s about balancing what we want to do with what we need to do. We need to cook healthy meals, walk the dog, pay the electric bill, and save for retirement. We want to take ballroom dance lessons, visit the Grand Canyon, or remodel the kitchen.
As for me, writing is something I need to do to be happy and fulfilled in my life. It doesn’t pay the bills (not yet, anyway), but it’s an essential part of my life.
I think about the kind of life I want. A life spent writing stories, doing yoga or tai chi, meditating, honoring my faith and walking a nature-based, goddess-centered pagan path. I want to drink tea, read books, care for my animals, and spend time with my husband. And then I have bigger dreams—like walking the streets of Paris or becoming a best-selling author.
Dreams take time. Balance takes work. And, more importantly, it takes sacrifice. We can’t have everything we want—not all at once, anyway.
All we can do is take small steps every day toward our goals, big and small.
At the end of the day, I can’t say I have the answers. And if you have any advice on the subject, please feel free to share in the comments section!
Writing: So far this week I’ve written 2,362 words in The Broken Mirror, a retelling of Snow White.
Reading: Continued reading Once Upon a Time: Red’s Untold Tale by Wendy Toliver.
A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Click here to cheer on fellow participants.
What about you? What are you trying to balance in your life? How do you find balance–or does it remain elusive?