On finding balance

Some of my colleagues have been talking about finding balance, and they don’t actually burst out laughing when they talk about it, so they must mean it. To me, it sounds like just one more thing to beat yourself up over, your regrettable lack of balance.

Look, the only people who do good work are the ones who are slightly cracked about it, whether that work is operating on people’s brains, or writing books, or raising children. If you are trying to have a life of any worth at all, then you will always have too much. That’s because you care. That’s because the work matters.

So please give up the oppressive idea that you have to seek balance. And also? You are not the balance police. It’s not your job to make sure everyone else is balanced, whether that’s your husband or your mom or your sister.

I’m not advocating that you burn yourself out. You can’t do good work if you’re burned out. But too often people think being balanced requires them to take on a bunch of crap that they really have no interest in doing. They join a book club even though they don’t like to read because it’ll add balance to their lives. You know what I mean.

Stop doing shit that doesn’t thrill you. Do what matters. Stop and pet a dog occasionally. The end.


My collection of travel stories, Travels with Jessica, is now available! Kindle and paperback here; other ebook formats here.

And I’ve published my essay “For Jessica” as a small book. Kindle and paperback here; other ebook formats here.

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1 comment

  1. You are much too young to have this kind of wisdom. What will be left for you to discover when you are my age????

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