On the Wheel

Our week here in southern Florida is over, so I’m preparing myself for the familiar re-entry process – getting out of relaxation mode and back onto the hamster wheel otherwise known as daily life.  I should be accustomed to that by now – after all, we flit back and forth every four to six weeks, so every winter is rather like an extended schizophrenic episode ~ warm breezes/beach walks ~ frigid winds/slippery sidewalks.

But I’m flummoxed every time, and it’s probably because I’m still not sure exactly which lifestyle is the right one for me.  I mean, somewhere in between the endless unplanned hours of the past week and the obligation filled days of the weeks ahead of me, lies the lifestyle I’m looking for.

How often do we get to choose the life we want? The one with just the perfect balance of time for our own pursuits and time spent in doing things we have to do?  The perfect balance between work and leisure?

I know it’s unrealistic to expect that everyday life can be the perfect mix of work and play – at least not every day.  It’s when ones life is completely out of balance (either way) that the trouble sets in.  My Facebook status last night echoed the hamster wheel concept, and a comment from one of my very clever friends said, “Life has to be about more than squeak, squeak, squeak…”

She’s so right.  We all need productive work or at least productive pastimes.  We all need something to goad us into getting out of bed in the morning.  But we also need time to rest, to play, to simply be with ourselves for company.  I’m convinced that a happy life has all of those elements, and that each individual needs them in completely different measure.  Goldilocks had the concept down pat -the porridge must not be too hot, or too cold, but just right.

So as I start sprinting on my little wheel, here’s hoping I can find the “just right”  balance for the days ahead.



6 thoughts on “On the Wheel

  1. It’s a subject close to my heart ever since I moved to the US five years ago. If you work full-time in this county it is much harder to achieve the elusive work-life balance. Vacation days are scarce compared to Europe and people tend to have longer commutes, so on average one spends a lot more time working than playing. But it is what it is and rather than feel resentful about it (as I have been) I am looking at ways in which I can gain more play-time without losing the security of a regular income. In any case, you sounds wonderfully relaxed and I hope that glow from your lovely vacation stays with you for a little longer 🙂

  2. I think as we mature, we are more and more aware of how gainfully we can fill our days, finding pleasure and purpose…you’ll be trading in that hamster wheel for a scooter …(is that the right metaphor? well, I mean something where you’re having fun, adventure, something “transporting” and that you’re in control of…
    and btw, can you bring some of that excellent weather back with you? Looking forward to wearing flipflops I say, as I sit here with my hiking boots on…?!!!

  3. Becca, you so echo a thought that goes through my mind quite often. And the hamster wheel is a great metaphor. I really long for the time to be able to kick back (during daytime hours, I might add) and live my life in the daylight. I don’t mind work — I actually like what I do and I don’t mind doing it. I’m one of the lucky ones. I just wish I could do the day off in the middle of the week or more half days. Of course, nothing would get done, and truth be told, I’d probably waste that time. But I’d waste it being — I think — happy and content. Who knows? But if you find that magic trick that brings it into balance — or even close — let me know!

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