Balancing Work and the Rest of Your Life



Balancing your life isn’t easy.

I still live at home, so I can only imagine how tough it can be for some twentysomethings trying to make it on their own. I have $650/month in student loans kicking my ass and, trust me, I’m upset about it.

Life is hard enough, but adding work and everything else can weigh on people.

It all weighs on me sometimes.

We all have to go to work. Vacation days are few and far between, though. Work is a huge commitment that takes up most of our time today. Yes, we have the weekends, but the majority of our time is spent at work.

I’m big on family, though. I make sure to call my grandmother at least once a day during the week. I try to see her and my grandfather on the weekends, too. I live with my parents and my little brother and our schedules are all different. We don’t have family dinners very often because I have meetings to cover at night. It’s a balancing act and a frustrating one at that.

I consider myself lucky, though. I’m not sick. I haven’t burned myself out yet.

I have a great girlfriend that I’m in love with and I’m happy. Very happy. I don’t really have much to complain about. I work during the week and see my family as much as I can over the weekend. Sometimes we get together during the week, but, over the last year, that’s become nonexistent.

My brother just moved back home from Hofstra University, so I’ve been seeing more of him lately.

Life is good.

There are a couple of things that you MUST do to be able to say that. They aren’t easy, but they are crucial to your sanity and happiness.

Unplug. This should be a no-brainer. Since I started working full-time after college, this has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. That may sound pretty bad, but it’s true. You have to make the effort to both put the phone down and not pick it up again. If you have to set days where you don’t look at your phone do it. When I’m with my girlfriend or grandparents, I make an even bigger effort to leave my phone alone. If you have to take baby steps to do it, so be it. Start with one-hour segments and work your way up. Making yourself virtually unavailable is a pretty great feeling.

Get Up and Move. It’s easy to get stuck in the daily grind of work, where we forget about exercising and keeping ourselves moving. You have to break that habit. If it means doing a lap around the office or building, do it. You won’t regret it. If you can get outside running/walking and working out, you’ll be happier, have more energy and you may like the way you look. It’s too easy to get entrenched in that mode. Do yourself a favor and fix it.

Make Plans. It sounds pretty easy, but it’s a really simple thing to do. By simply making fun and exciting plans, you’ll have no choice but to have fun, no? If you are doing nothing on the weekends, sitting at home watching TV, then you are asking for a boring existence. No one wants that. Of course, if money’s a problem, make an effort to find the cheaper, fun things to do. We aren’t paying $27 million for a new state-wide tourism campaign for nothing, right?

I’m going to be turning 24 on Feb. 8. I can tell you right now that life is too short and we have to make the best of it. If some of these things seem too hard to do right now, prove yourself wrong. You owe it to yourself to be happy and have fun. Life is much too short for us to be zombies each day.



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