I've been working really hard lately. I have a novel due in a few months, and immediately after I turn it in, I'll need to start promotion on the first book of this series. When I'm working, I often spend 10 or 12 hours a day at the computer. But then I try to schedule a week or two in between big projects where I might only spend a couple of hours a day writing articles or doing maintenance on my Etiquette site at About.com.
When the holidays are over, I'll probably cut back to no desserts for a while because I'm sure I'll indulge in too many between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sometimes it is an all-or-nothing life, and I'm fine with that.
Most of my life I've heard about balance. It's important to balance. From the first steps a baby takes to the stumbling steps we make as we grow older and lose it. Balance. It applies to almost all aspects of life, such as budget, diet, work, and family time.
Something I've noticed, however, is that balance isn't always possible, nor is it always something I want. When I'm having a great time, I don't want someone telling me I need to balance it with something that isn't so much fun. If I'm eating my favorite chocolate dessert, I don't want to hear about balance. Let me splurge and enjoy a little out-of-balance treat. When I'm on a deadline, don't even bring up the word balancing work with personal life because I don't want to hear it.
Now that I'm "mature," I think about some of the wisdom I tried to impart to my children, and I realize it wasn't always that good. I had something to say about almost everything, even when I didn't have a clue what I was talking about. Things that were important to me then, I now realize were trivial. And balance was one of those things.
Granted, we don't want to have a full-time diet of sugary treats. We shouldn't sacrifice our families by working too many hours. Spending all your time at leisure isn't good either because we have to have a way to fund our recreational activities. But it isn't about balance. It's about common sense and knowing when to stop. And then when to start back.