I’ve always struggled with the gray areas in life.
I’m either really happy, or I’m really sad.
I’m so hungry that I must devour everything, or I have to force myself to eat normal people meals.
I throw myself into everything one-hundred percent, or I spend weeks on the couch with little to no interest in the world.
At times, I am fully concentrated on my future in terms of career and will sacrifice all other aspects of my life to meet my goals. Other times I’m only concerned with seeking pleasure in my present activity.
In college, every inch of my body was flowing with hedonistic blood. I was only concerned with the pleasure of the moment, and boy did I have some fun!
I binged on Taco Bueno whenever I felt like it. I drank 12 keystone lights a night. I made out with boys and thrived on any sort of attention I could get. I did as little work as possible to remain in school.
It didn’t matter though, I never thought about my future.
Near the end of my five years as an undergrad, I finally started getting my shit together. I began to take an interest in the work, and found a few things that both gave me pleasure AND could be beneficial to my future. A few of those things (improv, writing) I still find pleasure in today.
A few years later, I found myself in a completely nihilistic pattern.
I quit performing. I quit writing in my blog. I had lost a lot of weight, but keeping up my good eating habits became a chore. I worked to get paid, and I drank because that’s all I felt like doing.
During that time, my only hobbies were wine and my eating disorder, and God knows neither of those things gave me any sort of pleasure.
Then I moved to Austin.
I got a job in radio and immediately started performing as much as I could. I felt creative. I was writing. I was in control. I was happy.
For the first time in my adult life, I was both finding pleasure in my everyday life while working towards goals that would be beneficial to my future.
Lately, I’ve started to feel things shift. I often feel that I’m slipping more into the “rat race” of life. I’m doing a lot, and most of what I’m doing could very well be beneficial to my future. However; most of what I’m doing is not giving me pleasure in the every day moment.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my life right now. I love my work and I love my relationship with my boyfriend. I love doing improv and writing and going on long walks with my dogs.
I’m afraid I’m just not doing a very good job at balancing them out. I need more dog walking and more time with my boyfriend in my life. I need more dinners with friends and more time to meditate. I NEED to get more than five hours of sleep a night.
My main frustration is that there doesn’t seem to be much that I can change at this point, and there isn’t anything I want to completely let go.
My problem might not be so much a problem of balance of the activities in my life, but more of a problem of how I’m spending brainpower.
What I really need is a plan to get the most out of my time and to prioritize the activities that are both good for my soul, and good for my future.
The first objective? Get back to living in the moment. Every moment spent stressing about the things I’m not doing is a moment that could be spent doing those things. Concentrate on one activity at a time. Put my all into what I’m doing RIGHT NOW. Make the precious moments I have with my loved ones really count.
I also probably need to cut back on Facebook.
What do you do to live a balanced life? Any tips?