Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Work and Play - keeping a balance

Does anyone ever get the balance right in life, I wonder?  Human beings need to work, in my opinion, because otherwise our lives would have little shape and we wouldn't appreciate the times we get to play so much.  The wok, of course, doesn't have to be paid.  I was perfectly happy for many years bringing up the children and looking after our home, which took a good deal of effort but was very worthwhile and made me feel fulfilled although it didn't result in a wage. 

Now, however, I am working in the hope that I will achieve a decent income, and that is where things have started to get a little askew.  Leaving aside the fact that writing is an art and should be done for the love of it alone - which may be true, but is not practical - payment for an activity is a way of recognising its worth.

But, if you are self-employed, the pressure is on - to work as hard as possible, to achieve as much as possible, in the shortest space of time possible.  Unless, of course, you are one of those very well-balanced people - like my husband - who refuse to be rushed. 

Yesterday, I went for a walk with friends.  One of them is about to start her second year at University, and knows she will have little time to socialise once the new term begins.  The other is someone I see most days, but rarely find the time to chat to properly, since I have started writing every day.  So I knew I should spend time with them - and I enjoyed it - but throughout the morning I kept harking back to the writing I 'should' be doing at home.  Feeling guilty.

By the time I did get home, I was not really in the mood for writing, probably because I had spent the morning winding myself up about not doing it.  I did manage a couple of thousand words eventually though, and I have knuckled down to it properly this morning, so I have probably caught up on the time I missed yesterday. 

What this episode brought home to me, though, is that we have to enjoy life.  Life is a treat, friends are a boon. And every minute that passes, won't happen again.  We need to make the most of it all.

Balance is an essential part of good mental health - I'm sure of it. Although maybe I'm just trying to justify the fact that I'm about to take some time off for a walk, on this lovely sunny afternoon.

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