I very rarely go to bed feeling like I’ve done enough in a day. I feel guilty after a weekend where I didn’t get enough done. It frustrates me how long it takes to write a novel. (Or, ahem, a guide to writing a novel. Almost done, swear!).
It never feels like there are enough hours in the day, or days in the weeks, or weeks in the months, or months in the year. Time slips away, and with it a chance to accomplish something or edge closer to your dream.
Social media only adds to the pressure. People are completing novels and making New York Times bestseller lists and curing cancer while juggling on a unicycle and it all looks so effortless and who needs sleep anyway??
And yet, I know that following this impulse to its extreme is a path to ruin. I have had stretches where I gave in to the temptation to try to do too much, and it messed me up. I got burned out, I neglected friendships, and experienced diminishing returns.
And that’s because when you try to do too much, you risk your enjoyment what you’re doing. Burn yourself out trying to write your novel and you may never finish.
Balance is elusive. There’s always more you can be doing.
But you need time with friends. You need rest. You need to have fun.
I embrace this feeling when I need to get something done, but also try not to feel guilty when I sleep my way through a lazy weekend.
I just try not to have too many of those.
Do you experience this feeling? How do you deal with it?
Art: Flight and Pursuit by William Rimmer
Laurie Evans says
I feel like this *all* the time. Trying to revive some friendships I've neglected.
Thank you for posting this piece! I feel less alone knowing other people are out there feeling the same way about striking a balance between work and fun. I feel like, especially during the work week, I don't get to catch a break yet if I pass out by 10pm I feel guilty for not deciding to catch up on some last-minute emails instead… When I feel like there's too much the best cure is watching a few hours of Larry David & Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Did I do something wrong or was my post quoting a song about this topic removed? If it was removed, reason? Did not think there was anything wrong with the post. Thanks
I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award 🙂 I love reading your posts!
Cornelia Becker Seigneur says
GREAT blog! This is a feeling I have a lot…wow, never doing enough and then you see what others are doing and you feel even more that way- thanks for reminding us of the balance!
Vinshire Sisters says
Every. Day. Especially now that it's summer. I hate the feeling that I'm not getting enough, especially when it's true. ESPECIALLY when you want to be doing something like editing and you just end up sitting there staring at the screen. I feel like my biggest problem is that there are so many things I would like to commit myself to fully, nothing held back. And when I have four or five different things I'm trying to commit fully to, it doesn't end up working out very well. Normally I just try to remind myself that that is impossible and I let my friends rope me into "Don't want to do it, want to have done it" things.