I am sipping some iced tea with lemon. I didn’t make it. It is a canned commercial product. It’s okay. Mildly carbonated, which seems pretty unnecessary for iced tea, but it is available, it is cold, and it did not require me to make iced tea to have some. lol I am thinking about what that says about my desire for “ease” vs my desire for good quality of life. It seems the sort of thing worth thinking about.

As I made the drive in to the city this morning, I was also thinking. Mostly about “work life balance” and what that actually seems to mean, and what that can (or has)(or does) look like (for me). I have tended to mostly think about “work life balance” in terms of … a scale. Two opposites in equal measure, you know – balanced. It has not generally been the case that I have been able to make that work out quite that way. I mean… there are 7 days in a week. I work 5 of those, most of the time. The common assumption is 40 work hours in a week, divided more or less into 8-hour days (when we’re fortunate to enjoy working conditions that preserve an expectation of employee leisure being respected). That’s a pretty big chunk of our life time, so… where’s the “balance”?

Fairly often, in my own experience, any appearance of “work life balance” has been more like a pendulum swinging between extremes, some weeks mostly work, some weeks a bit more leisure than is typical, and back and forth pretty endlessly. There have been notable exceptions where the “routine” wasn’t routine at all, and finding any “balance” was more like a dance than a pendulum’s steady swing. In other cases, any hint of “work life balance” was purely linguistic, and not to be taken at all seriously by anyone involved. Those are commonly pretty toxic experiences, and I avoid those.

I continue to look for a better balance, though; more life, less work… it gets tricky when the conversation turns to pay. I definitely still want to get paid. LOL

I sip my tea and reflect. I think about how tricky it is to balance all the elements of a life well-lived… the living, the loving, the working, the resting… and I think about how often one or another detail feels “just right”, while literally everything else seems to be going to shit. lol How very human. Certainly it’s been those “just right” experiences that have often been what has “kept me going”, avoiding despair, keeping up practices, breathing through the emotions, and accepting that “this too will pass” – because it will, and it does, and it’s on to the next thing.

My Traveling Partner has got the truck set up for camping and off-roading and overland adventuring. Exciting. I’m expecting that any day now he will calmly advise me that he is going to “hit the road and check everything out” in preparation for camping together for my birthday. I’m super excited about the camping trip we have planned. I’m also excited to have a couple days home alone… by July we’ll have been in this little house for 3 years. I’ve never spent a night at home alone in all that time. I guess I’m fortunate to be able to say that, given the quality and good character of this love of ours. I’m still looking forward to it. 🙂

…And every time I think about being home alone, while my Traveling Partner travels, I miss him with an incredible ache in my heart that feels just a bit like… withdrawals. lol I’m pretty crazy about this particular other human being. Like a teenager with a first crush…

The minutes tick by. I sip my tea and think my thoughts. I breathe, exhale, relax… soon enough, I’ll also begin again. It’s a new day ahead. New options. New choices. New circumstances. There is room for improvement. Room for change and for growth. All it takes is a new beginning, and a handful of verbs.