Back when I was a teenager, I worked for my dad. He was a beekeeper, so I spent a lot of my days lifting and moving heavy things. Some days were hot, some days were chilly, and some days I got stung a lot. Most days, I’d return home tired, stinky, and swollen. At night, I’d crawl into bed exhausted and then wake up and do it again.
I miss those days. Working with my hands and feeling it in my muscles felt good.
Now, I don’t do any of that.
Now, I sit at my desk, writing and teaching, solving story questions, untangling confusing sentences, and helping my students. It’s not physical work—more mental and emotional—yet I’m still exhausted at the end of the day.
My wife says I don’t shut off. She says I’m always thinking, whether we’re on a walk, on vacation, or in my sleep. And she’s right. I’ve long admitted I’ll keep writing even if I could quit.
Because I love doing it.
So this post isn’t actually about work/life balance—it’s probably showing my lack of it. But it’s also about doing the work you love, no matter how hard it might be.
Am I allowed to complain in this month of Thanksgiving?
I was so proud of writing during the summer holidays, but let’s be serious. It was hot weather, beaches, hanging out, and writing. It was a pleasurable existence and, honestly, the kind I’d like permanently.
But now I’m back home and in full swing. Monday to Friday, I’m teaching, having my morning meetings with Dave and writing in the evenings. Add in my social life and tidying my home, and I feel busy.
During my first week at school, I was exhausted. I needed naps at midday, and I’d return home like a zombie. I’d sit on my couch, staring at nothing, and wait for a magical burst of energy to help me open my computer and get writing.
Finding a balance between the things I love and the things I have to do is a challenge. The workflow will come, as it always does, and I’ll eventually adjust to the new pace. I simply need to trust myself to keep on track to the long-term goal.
Therefore, I sing the praises of our morning meetings—they keep me on track. Missing one or two days of writing, I don’t feel too bad, but after that third day, I feel like a slacker. To avoid the guilt, I buck up and do my job.
(And let me tell you when David asks how it went, I feel so proud—and relieved—to say to him I moved the story along.)
So, this post isn’t a complaint—it’s an acknowledgement. I’m grateful for a productive, restful summer. I’m grateful for a job that allows me time to write. I’m grateful for the morning meetings and the motivation they give me. And I’m grateful for our readers letting me take this journey.