On finding elusive balance and avoiding post decision guilt

I’ve always struggled to find work-life balance. Currently I am juggling a demanding job, a newish boyfriend, friends, writing, fitness, family, errands and the fleeting summer sun. The writing is at risk of getting lost in the crowd.

You make promises you can’t seem to keep: this week I am going to write at least twice! Go to yoga twice! See my boyfriend no more than twice! Get at least 8 hours of sleep! Leave work on time everyday! Ahhhhh

Work your butt of when you’re young, that’s when you have the most energy. But live for the present; you’re only young once. Have babies when you’re young, or else you won’t be able to conceive. Find a good man before they’re all taken. But be independent, don’t follow the crowd. Plus look at the divorce rate.

I’ve read stories about those who sacrificed for their dream with laser focus, unwavering commitment between failures. They say you need 10,000 hours of practice to master something, but Jessica Ghawi’s story illustrates how precious life is. If you focused all of your time and energy on your big ambition, and died just before or just after accomplishing it, would you regret your choice?

Can we truly have it all? Or does it have to be youth versus ambition?

I’ve always felt this sense of urgency (I hope it’s not a bad sign) to DO MORE. NOW. Partly due to my fear that if enough time passes, I’ll lose the will and discipline to achieve it. Partly because my accomplishment would sound exponentially more impressive, if I achieved it young (blame the media I say. And facebook).

So of course I’ve been yearning for something MORE or NEW. It’s been distracting me from my writing (a long, arduous slog) and taking me out to events, job boards, you name it. I keep banging on ornate doors but they don’t seem to open. Does that mean I should bang longer or louder? The NEVER GIVE UP, this is just a test, good things come to those who wait and pay their dues?

Or is too soon to be knocking? Maybe I shouldn’t focus on the door at all. Maybe I should sit in a comfy chair with some chai tea and a journal and focus on the window instead. Or the plain door.

All of this preamble leads me to announce my 2012 Europe Trip: Greece, Italy and Croatia here I come! Part of me is excited of course: I get to visit with my 90 year old yia yia (she gives the best hugs ever) and take in the sights of Venice, Rome, Split and Dubrovnik at the end of August.

There's got to be a metaphor in here somewhere (Rome, 2008)

Part of me is trying not to feel guilty that I spent all this money on fleeting travel instead of investing in potential future opportunities (personal development, film financing, or a down payment). I’m trying not to feel guilty that I used all my vacation days (aka paid freedom) this year to travel, instead of dedicating the days to writing or attending TIFF and making contacts (with an industry or 10 movie pass).

Every decision involves a trade off. I beat myself up for seemingly half ass committing to writing; I feel like I could be doing more. That being said, in order to be a good writer, you need to have life and human experiences to draw from. I want to come back feeling inspired and rejuvenated (Woody Allen does it best). Kind of like how Portugal made me feel.

And another thing: I get to put my new relationship to the ultimate test. I hope to come back with better results than prior attempts with my EX. The BF will have to deal with my longing for gingerale, lactose free products and non-erratic drivers. He will have to help ground me when I feel out of sorts. He will have to squeeze my hand tight on the 4 flights. Pop into a store because we’ll never be at this intersection again. Take a guided tour in the museum, otherwise, what is the point? Spring for a cab when my tired feet and can’t take another step.

If you struggle with decision making because you want complete information or a crystal ball, just cut yourself some slack. Mostly life unfolds the way it is supposed to anyway. You may not be the first, you may not be the fastest, but if you never give up, you will complete your goal. And you can share in the glory with friends, family, lovers and the dancing memories in your head. Tortoise beats the hare.

YOUR TURN: How do you find balance in your life, especially when you have a big goal/dream?  What are you looking forward to this summer? Have you traveled with a romantic partner before – what did you learn?  Comment away friends.

One Response to On finding elusive balance and avoiding post decision guilt

  1. Nikita says:

    Ahhh, lucky you – you’re going to Europe! I say go for it. We all need to escape and get away in order to put things into perspective from time to time. Travel is really the best type of cultural consumption 🙂

    PS. TIFF will always be here. I’ll let you know what films I end up watching.

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