In Praise of Work-Life Balance

I went running with my friend Dan the other day. As we ran, we chatted. “You know, J.D.,” he said. “It seems like you have the perfect life.”

I laughed. I think that Dan seems to have the perfect life — funny how the grass is often greener on the other side of the fence. “My life is good,” I said, “but it’s not perfect. Besides, I’ve had to work hard to get things where they are now.”

“I know,” he said, “but I still get jealous sometimes.”

I’ve thought a lot about this conversation in the past two weeks. I do have a good life right now. And I have worked hard to get things where they are today. That hard work has paid off, and now I find myself at 41, health, wealthy, and — I hope — wise.

In fact, since returning from our European vacation, my life has been almost perfect. There are little glitches here and there, but mostly the World of J.D. is rosy and good. Consider:

  • My diet and exercise plan is still going well.
  • Since deciding to get back to basics, my finances are in fine shape.
  • Blogging is fun again. After months (or years) of blogging seeming more like work than a hobby, I’m actually enjoying myself at GRS and my personal site. (That last bit is more important to me than you might guess.)
  • I’m spending time with friends.
  • I’m reading — both books and comics — on a regular basis.

I’m even taking on new professional challenges. I have a monthly column in Entrepreneur magazine starting next month. I’m doing more and more publicity (radio interviews, and the like) — and I don’t even hate doing so.

It feels like I’ve achieved the perfect work-life balance, and I like it. I like it a lot. In fact, this is the goal I’ve been working toward for years. It’s why I quit my day job in 2008.

What does this have to do with anything?

Well, remember how I made a false start at the GRS Blog Project last summer? And remember how I’d promised to restart it in January? That’s not going to happen.

I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I’ve talked with my wife and with friends. Everyone agrees: Why mess with a good thing? If I’ve achieved a sort of perfect balance, why add something to the mix that’s likely to throw things off? Starting another blog will take a ton of time and effort, time and effort that will have to come from other areas of my life.

I still think the Blog Project is a great idea, and I’m committed to doing it sometime in the future. But not right now. Right now, I want to enjoy life. I want to be able to exercise every morning, and to read in the afternoons. I want to have time to eat lunch with friends and GRS readers. I want to be able read comics, pet cats, go for walks, work in the yard, bake cookies with my niece, shop at thrift stores, track my spending, and play Dance Dance Revolution.

I want to maintain this balance for as long as possible. This is much more important to me than money. This — everything I have now — is what life’s all about.

By JD Roth

Original Article: In Praise of Work-Life Balance

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