Work Life Balance

I think we’re all torn on where to draw the line for ourselves between our working lives and the rest of our lives.

If you let it, some work can confine and consume you. It can suffocate your mind to a rigid mindstate where you don’t let your thoughts drift much outside of thoughts of work. It’s even worse when you don’t make as much money as you would like, or you don’t love what you do. Or you aren’t being paid to do what you love, which is writing for me. There’s a million different ways to look at it, work’s a topic we all have unique opinions on. We don’t always love our day jobs. But for those out there in the world who have found jobs they love, more power to you it’s a blessing.

I’ve found writing is phenomenal therapy. It helps you get into a different mode. Helps you get into a place where you feel a sense of freedom and greater control. If I remember correctly I think it was JK Rowling who said that it seems almost all writers write to get a greater sense of power and control over their lives, when the rest of the world tries to make them into a certain person, or force them into a mold, or just generally exert its will over them. And with that pressure comes a greater desire to write, that we may feel free.

I’m just running my mouth. Or running my mind right now, I don’t know what the parallel figure of speech would be for typing. I’m learning to find ways to enjoy what I do. Bits of it feel fulfilling. I’ll try to maintain positive momentum towards that perspective.

We are all constantly finding ourselves needing to adapt to our ever changing life circumstances. I’m just having another moment in my own life where I need to learn how to evolve.

Here’s to hoping we can all adjust our swings to the curveballs life throws.

132 thoughts on “Work Life Balance

  1. Well put 🙂 I feel like you’ve more or less stated the reasons I’ve started writing, though that all said I don’t believe I’m quite as far as you in my own literary endeavors. Still, as you’ve said, it’s nice to write; gives us a place to vent, a ‘world’ of sorts to create, and a pacing and direction that is entirely ours to control. It may not always be ‘practical’ and we all won’t become literary superstars like JK Rowling or James Patterson, but it is indeed phenomenal therapy 🙂

    • Thank you for this positive comment!! I don’t know that I’m much further if I’m further at all and I’m sure you’ll get where you want to get someday!! It’s tremendous therapy for me indeed, and I’m happy to see it’s phenomenal therapy for you as well writing really has been an amazing positive and productive force in my life and it’s fun getting to see how much the writing experiences of others have positively affected them as well!! Happy writing!! 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Raza Adil Rizvi's Blog and commented:
    “I’ve found writing is phenomenal therapy. It helps you get into a different mode. Helps you get into a place where you feel a sense of freedom and greater control. If I remember correctly I think it was JK Rowling who said that it seems almost all writers write to get a greater sense of power and control over their lives, when the rest of the world tries to make them into a certain person, or force them into a mold, or just generally exert its will over them. And with that pressure comes a greater desire to write, that we may feel free.”

  3. A very true realization from a writer who loves the sensation and creativity of writing for pleasure~ I will re-blog these inspiring few words ~ Thanks Oscar 🙂

  4. I guess this post resonates with many people. For the most part, I enjoy my work but I don’t think we’re living up to our full potential if we don’t make time for creative pursuits which speak to the soul of who we are. I’ve been a victim of my work consuming me and as a new blogger, this has been a great and exhilarating escape and definitely gives me a greater sense of freedom and with every day that I blog, the more I want that freedom. Thank you for this post. 😃

    • I completely agree with everything you said right there, we need to take time for creative pursuits otherwise we become mindless robots. I feel you on the point of blogging being a unique pleasure, it’s satisfying in a way that few other things are. There’s the creative side of it and the ability to have other people to communicate with and get into your head on a perspective, it’s something of an addiction for me I just wish I had more time and energy to keep at writing and blogging, but I am starting to enjoy my work too we all need to look on the bright side of things, I’m a little tired and scatter brained right now I apologize haha but thank you for this nice and thoughtful comment 🙂

      • I agree on the addiction part. It’s a weakness I have that when I develop a passion for something, it becomes an obsession so that you even lose track of time. This comes back to the issue of balance.Glad to hear that you’re enjoying your work. I think we all have ups and downs with work and the more I talk to people, the more it seems we have to build our own emotional resilience to handling the challenges and problems we encounter at work or in life generally. But this is why we need an outlet – an alternative to dream a little, live a little and when you connect with others in this way – you have a chance to look into a mirror. Thanks for the follow and look forward to more conversation. Stay connected 😉

  5. I find walking, writing and photographing nature some of the most therapeutic activities for me, hence my blogging! Great post. Thanks. 🙂

    • Gotta love the arts for therapy, I wish I had gotten into photography I never really had a decent camera it’s something I’ve considered getting into but just never got around to, you take great pictures on your blog!! Walking’s something I should really do more of, just having some time to myself preferably in a nature setting it’s quite peaceful, thank you for the kind comment!! 🙂

  6. I do envy people whose work involves something they love, rather than just a daily grind/slog/whatever in order to get the necessary paycheck.

    In almost four decades of “working life” there was only one job that I can honestly say I looked forward to (in the sense of not counting the days until the weekend). Unfortunately I didn’t realize until it was far too late in life that the thing I love most is doing any kind of research – give me something to “find” or “find out about” and I am like a human info-ferret, LOL. Looking back, I was the same way even in my early teens but did it ever occur to me (or to anyone else) that I should get a job that involved doing that? Nope. Yet that would have been exactly the kind of work I’d have been happiest doing. Sometimes timing really is everything!

    • It’s so true I feel like I’m reminded everyday of the importance of timing in life! And that’s funny that you should say these things considering my actual job is doing research for a paycheck haha I work as a lab tech, there are a lot of positives to the job but I’ve sort of stepped into a position where a lot is expected of me very very quickly and it can be brutal at times, but there is the reward in the element of discovery so that much I do enjoy, thank you so much for the comment! I love hearing experiences about life and fresh perspectives on topics like work, thank you for this 🙂

  7. The struggle is real!

    I didn’t realize how very therapeutic writing was until I actually tried it, and now I can’t stop. There is just something about trying to put thoughts down into print that makes it easier for me to accept what I can’t change and courage to change the things I can.

    • I wholeheartedly agree with you!! Writing is an addiction, and it’s true something about writing helps us make our thoughts more rigid and give us better direction, it helps me to accept what I can’t change while giving me the courage to change the things I can as well! Thank you so much for this comment Allie!!

  8. Oh that JK Rowling quote is so so true!! The drive to write is the incessant need to be the real you. I love reading what writers say about the philosophical aspects of writing! Nice 🙂

    • thank’s for your thoughts, Oscar. I guess beeing able to do something with what we experience in life (being able to react, to answer, to respond, to work with, to improvise…) is of great value. then we are not simple victims of circumstances, but players in the game of life. writing about something is working with and on my experience and is an experience in itself where I am the author.
      in this sense it might be not so much the question about work-life-balance, but rather if I succeed in beeing the author of my own life …

      • I feel you on all of that, it’s of great value to learn how to adapt to our dynamic life circumstances so we might better position ourselves to succeed. I agree that we must all strive to succeed in being the authors of our own lives instead of letting other people write our life story, thank you so much for the comment 🙂

    • So happy you enjoyed this post, I’ve always connected with that JK Rowling quote, her story was such a heartbreaking one up until the point where she got her break, and I agree that a big part of the drive towards writing is a desire to be true to yourself like you’ve said, at least I have found it true for me personally. So happy this post on the philosophical aspects of writing connected with you!! Thank you for the comment!! 🙂

  9. I think that so many writers, and aspiring writers, feel this way about writing – even if they haven’t actually expressed it in the words of J.K. Rowling. I agree, too, that it’s pity so many people work in jobs they don’t enjoy and that the pressure to write stems from that. Writing becomes a release from the monotony/dislike/necessity of the ‘day job’.
    Hope your evolutionary process is well underway 🙂

    • I hope so too!! I agree that there are moments where my writing comes from a place of seeking a release, other times it draws from a place of desiring to explore a topic, it comes from a lot of angles but I definitely feel you on that. Overall I do my best to find the positives in life, and this blog has been a positive release for me in very many ways 🙂

    • No problem at all and that’s awesome! I guess the best advice I could give is try to provide quality in posts and be willing to interact with other bloggers but don’t let it consume your life, I’m in a certain place where it’s been getting harder for me to keep at blogging at the weekly rate I was but I still try to get a post up at least once every ten days, that’s just me I’m in a weird place right now where I’m getting pretty consumed with work, but overall just try to interact with others and enjoy exploring the blogosphere and interacting with other blogs! I apologize my thoughts are kind of scattered I’m pretty tired right now haha happy blogging!

  10. Love this post! I especially love, at the moment, stream of consciousness writing. It helps me get aligned back into my own wants and needs, rather than what the world and people around me want and need. There’s no pressure to have correct grammar or even punctuation. It helps to digest the many thoughts that are running around in my head, in a more linear and physical way.

    • I completely feel you on this, I’ve been pretty into stream of consciousness writing is what I’ve realized though I don’t usually realize it as I write. I tend to focus less on grammar and punctuation and what not and focus more on getting the flow of the thought out as it comes and however it comes. It’s awesome that you’re getting that sense of aligning your wants and needs by getting a better grip of your thoughts through that type of writing, I find myself finding better direction and balance through writing as well! Thank you so much for the kind words and for the comment!! 🙂

    • I apologize that I hadn’t seen that particular post but I do think that the work life balance is a topic on all of our minds as we struggle balancing out our not so glamorous day jobs with the other things we really enjoy doing in life thank you for the comment!!

  11. I am new to this and just started organizing my site and I was surprised to see you liked it. I immediately checked on you and read your post and love this..
    “I’ve found writing is phenomenal therapy. It helps you get into a different mode. Helps you get into a place where you feel a sense of freedom and greater control.”
    I definitely agree. It’s so uplifting. Thank you Oscar.

    • You’re very very welcome thank you so much for commenting on my post and checking out my blog! I’m very happy you found the post uplifting, I want people to connect with my writing and anytime they do it’s a blessing for me. Thank you so much and best of luck to you and happy blogging!! 🙂

  12. Reading your blog made me realise how lucky I am to enjoy my job. Maybe there is no balance because I have let the job consume me and forgot what happiness is outside of work.

    • Very very lucky to enjoy your job haha if a job you love consumes you it’s not so bad, you take happiness where you can find it I say more power to you and love it even more everyday if it’s something you enjoy 🙂

  13. Great post. Its a good reminder that we need to be in tune with our creative outlet to make sure that we do not succumb to the blandness that life presents to us at times.

    • Thank you so much for this kind comment, I wholeheartedly agree that we need to keep in touch with our creative side so we don’t drown in the monotony of life like you’ve said, thanks so much for the comment!!

    • Lately I’ve mainly been working at a compilation of short stories that I plan on maybe putting out for free later on in the year, but I’ve taken a break from querying until after I’ve been to a writer’s conference so that’s the rough plan at the moment

  14. Just imagine if we didn’t have to work…if work wasn’t a forced decision. If no one worked and machines ran everything that needed to be run, what would we do? If we had access to everything we wanted…what would anyone do? Mostly people answer travel, while that’s great and I too would love it, there are other things people, humans, would do. One of those things I think would be write. To create a view of the world in a perspective of one single human. To see ones own thoughts and actions in the written word is truly a calming force. Nice post! 🙂

    • Thank you!! I agree it would be pretty cool if we ever reached that point, not to say it’s near or necessary but I’ve fantasized about that sort of existence before. If things ever hit that point I probably would do a mix of travelling writing, hanging out with close friends, music, I try not to think about it it’s too nice a thought haha but thank you so much for the comment!!

  15. Serendipity is the word that came to my mind when I read this post. I have to confess I am at my day job now and stole some moments to write the prompt post in my blog . Then I came here and smiled at every sentence you’ve written in this one, mumbling to myself “Damn, he’s sooo right…”. Hope you’ll have a lot of powerful moments of writing!

  16. I’ve heard several times throughout the course of my life, if you do what you love and follow your heart, the money will come. I worked for many years, matter of fact went through life backwards. I had a family first then recently completed my college degree. I am remarried and my older 3 kids had a “good” life but not much quality time. I have been unsatisfied with that and eventually I became able to have time, but not as much money. Work life balance is a tricky thing. I am just now to the point with my younger two that I can spend more time and have a little more money…be patient, it will happen.

    • I hope you’re right about working at what you love leading to some economic stability that would be a Godsend, I can only imagine that type of difficulty balancing a family and the pressures of work I’m not quite at that stage in my life yet but I hope to be there in the future. I’ll do my best to maintain patience and persistence thank you so much for the heartfelt comment 🙂

  17. I agree with you when you say that you find writing being therapeutic. I do have a question for you, how do you find the time to write? I struggle with working 40-50 hours a week and having the energy and time to write. Thankfully I do not struggle with content, just the energy and time. Any tips are greatly appreciated. Great page, BTW! 🙂

    • It truly is therapeutic haha and I squeeze a lot of writing in on the weekends, or just when I find myself inspired to get a story down at night. It’s been harder lately but I do try to still maintain a decent pace of getting some fiction written often, usually short stories. Energy is something that I don’t always have but I still try to write something even when I’m not feeling much in the mood to do so just to keep the habit, and thank you so much for the kind compliment!! And best of luck to you balancing your creative pursuits with your working life!!

  18. Oscar, I thank you for stopping and looking at my blog and your like on the Stage Coach robbery. This will develop into a full story. But what is interesting to me is that you are blogging about the balance between work and life and that is precisely what turns my two heroes into robbers. I hope you continue to follow them and I look forward to reading more of you.

    • Hi Kaila! Happy you stopped by to check my blog out too! I found it interesting how you spoke about how practical skills aren’t really emphasized in schools, like how to stand out like Waldo in a sea of other random people, and get the job you want. It’s useful knowledge to have, and people with productive perspectives on the topic are much needed, best of luck to you in this endeavor!!

  19. I hear you- I’m kind of lucky now because I feel like I maintain a decent balance,but I do worry about what will happen with my imminent schedule changes. I wish you luck with your work and getting your manuscript out into the world!

    • That’s awesome that you have a solid balance set up, hopefully you’re still able to maintain that equilibrium when you switch up your schedule!! And thank you so much for the good luck wishes!! 🙂

  20. Agreed! Recently, I have let my work life and personal life come together, which as we all know is a stupid decision. And now what was one of the best work days of my life turned with one dumb move after my shift. I am somewhat new at my job and am trying to make friends and I have a few but I texted one today and well I am a she and he is a he..and I said something that he may have thought I meant a different way, like that I had a crush on him or something, but I don’t there is a big age gap between us and I just don’t think of him like that. Now, I find myself in the spot where he is not texting me back. On the bright said maybe he fell asleep, or maybe he is mad at me or something. Anyway, any advice? Please

    • I agree that it’s difficult to keep personal life and work life separated in many ways probably more than I could ever hope to enumerate. That’s a very unique situation, there’s the possibility he thinks you’re coming onto him, also the possibility that he just didn’t read the text at all, overall I’d say if you really didn’t mean anything by it then you should just be relaxed and be comfortable with that knowledge and understanding. And if he gives you a strange vibe, well hopefully it blows over and doesn’t get blown out of proportion. I’d say just keep it professional from this point forward and hopefully eventually, if he initially perceived more in whatever sort of statement you made that could be mis-construed, maybe he’ll eventually re-rationalize his initial perception and come to the conclusion that you really didn’t mean anything by it and that things are actually fine and dandy and professional what have you he’ll realize he just read it wrong. I don’t know if that helps but I’d say you should be good if you approach it that way, those are my two cents if they are spent or not is your decision haha I’m actually now realizing I have no idea what the saying ‘those are my two cents’ means. Best of luck to you though and thanks for checking out my blog!! 🙂

      • Thank you for your two cents lol..but really I do appreciate that you were willing to help me. I think I may just take it easy and a little more professional and a little less upfront about stuff.. Idk. I may when I see him at work see how acts and go from there but he just texted me back and I think we are cool, but I will find out next time we work together. Thank you again. And awesome blog!

    • Thank you for the kind compliment, I agree writing and reading can both be an incredible escape, but there are other times where I’ve found a particular Flannery O’Connor quote to ring true for me. It’s something to the effect of ‘writing is a plunge into reality’ and that it can really, really shock the system. On any given day I find myself amazed by how shockingly true that is. Thank you for the comment 🙂

  21. Awesome post. Rings truth every sentence. See, for eg. If you do get paid for your writing, you may still find it not as productive as the job that you have write now. Productivity as well as satisfaction are seldom achieved together. One of the main factors in this is if you have a life partner. He / She will for the best intentions regarding the family try to pursue the individual out of his passion for attaining better living conditions for the family. You can’t blame the as well, because their side is also correct. It actually just becomes an enigma of questions within questions.

    • Interesting point that often productivity and satisfaction are not always achieved together though I do believe they can be, and it’s true if you have a family you need to provide for it complicates the pursuit of the dream thank you for the comment Anand!!

  22. There are different priorities at different stages in our lives. And each time, something has got to give. Resources are limited. Do it if it is going to matter 10 years down the road. =D Life is too short, really, to allow circumstances to dictate what one does. Bless you.

  23. The world is pretty F’d in the A. Not everybody needs to work. There are certain jobs that only trained people can do and then there are jobs anyone can do but not everybody needs to do them. If there was some sort of barter system the world would be a much nicer and easy going place. Sorry I had a point but it’s early in Melbourne and I’m sitting in class trying to stay motivated haha. Cool post.
    Cheers
    TK

    • It is pretty F’d in the A like you said haha it would be nice if the world could have some type of system where we all had our needs provided to us through advances in technology which might facilitate what previous generations were incapable of, no need to apologize I love conversation haha happy you enjoyed the post cheers to you as well!! 🙂

  24. I really enjoyed this post, I’m loving writing my blog. Although like many others who have commented I don’t feel my writing is the best. I’ve spent years stuck in a job i detest and now I have my son i can concentrate on doing things i enjoy 🙂

    • Very grateful you enjoyed this post, I try to write things that I feel others may connect with, I wouldn’t stress so much about imperfect writing it’s my firm belief that there is no such thing as perfect writing like Murakami once said. And I’m happy you find fulfillment in your writing experience!! It’s tough to balance writing and other things in life, I can only imagine the challenge of raising a child, but I wish you nothing but the best in your writing and in your life!! Happy blogging!!

      • Same here. I’ve intentionally backed off my work schedule so I can be home a little earlier with my family. Besides, most companies could care less at times about your personal life, not to mention about your security. Don’t get me wrong, I like my job, but I’ve concluded that jobs are temporary any more even though I work hard. It’s not worth getting burned out over.

        • Very true it’s not worth them taking your soul for a paycheck, work can be consuming sometimes and I’ve felt that way pretty strongly as of late. That’s awesome that you at least like your job, definitely still not worth getting burned out over though I hear that. Life’s a slow and steady grind in so many different areas, can’t let your working life take up all of you

          • Yes. Especially when the norm for a lot of companies to simply change your role without even telling you, or outsourcing you to save a few dollars, or just plain decide to let you go for no real reason. I’m at the point where I really am ready to do my own thing, yes it’s a lot of work but at least you’re in your own business with your rules. The other thing that gets me is ethics… A lot of companies think it’s OK to work you to death and let you go once their needs are met. So my philosophy simply is do the best you can and respect balance. I don’t have expectations of job security so it doesn’t bother me any more to put my time in and enforce limits given all of this. If a company has that little respect for the livelihoods of its employees then what’s the point of working so much of your life away? People are what make or break a company. We aren’t machines that get tossed out after a couple years yet that’s the trend these days. It’s sad but true. I just chose a different approach to it all. Best to you.. Stay balanced and stay in touch with what really matters to you and ultimately, lasts. Jobs come and go. Family is forever.

          • It’s true it’s all about the bottom line with most every company, you’re right you have every right to enforce limits, in the end it really is about people and no company can survive without great human capital. It is sad, but I’m happy you’ve found a better approach to it all, I’m searching for my own. Great advice to stay in touch with family and friends it’s advice I need to remember to continue heeding, all the best to you as well 🙂

  25. Good health is a balance between one’s physical, mental, and spiritual being. Let one of this triad falter and you’ll get sick.
    See yourself as healthy, weathly, and wise, and thats what you will be.

    • Very wise words, been getting harder and harder for me to keep them all in proper alignment as of late but it’s important to never stop trying to find your harmony, thank you so much for the comment 🙂

  26. I keep a journal. Writing out what happened in my life helps me to sort things out. So does reading. I may run dry but pick up a book and my mind soaks it up. Music does this too. As does art of all types. Anything abstract thinking or task opens my mind. My heart is open 24/7 and it also needs balance. Meditation and Yoga! The tools to achieve mental, physical, and emotional balance.

    • No problem at all I share a similar obsession with time! I hate to think that my life’s ticking away minute by minute and I’m not living it to the fullest or being as productive as I can be. And thank you so much for the kind compliment of my writing it means a lot to me! Anytime I get feedback like this it makes my day haha cheers to you as well!! 🙂

  27. Thank you for stopping by my blog and liking it. I am so sorry it has taken this long to get back to you because of attending to some family issues. Please keep on writing the good staff.

    • Oh no no worries thanks for checking out mine as well I hope all is well with you and that things work out with whatever trial you may be facing, all the best to you!! 🙂

  28. I’ll say this Oscar: the literary world would lose a wonderful talent the day you stop writing.

    Keep going. Don’t ever let the daily rigours of life take its toll on you. More often than not, your writing brings a great sense of calm to my mind. It pushes me to reflect upon my own writing (rather the lack of it) and for this, I’d like to thank you.

    While my job demands me to write professionally – I’m an advertising copywriter – the long hours usually kills my hunger to write on a personal level.

    …that aside. I trust you have evolved since you wrote this. And I hope you continue to grow. Eagerly awaiting your next post, as always.

    Power and love,
    Karan

    • Wow thank you so much for the kind words Karan!! You’re absolutely right I can’t let these daily rigors get at me, and wow I really can’t begin to express how much that means to me to know that what I’ve written has any sort of positive effect on people. I should be thanking you really haha that’s awesome that you’ve got an advertising job too I’ve often wondered what it would be like to get into that arena. I hope I’ve evolved since this piece as well, and I hope I continue to evolve as well. I intend to get some posts up in the not too distant future but I can’t make any promises on a timeframe. Hope your shoulder’s feeling better! Again, thank you so much for this comment it really means a lot to me!!

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