How Do You Balance? [NOT 1/10/21]

Walking a fine line...

How do you walk the tightrope of life? How do you balance family, friends, work, fun, private time, responsibilities, chores, etc.?

Some of us here in DeadSplinterLand have children at home, some of us have demanding jobs, some of us have extended family responsibilities, some of us are on our second (or third) life chapter, some of us are experiencing life-stage changes, and many of us can claim several or most of the aforementioned life statuses.

So, what is your secret? What is your trick? How do you balance?

About Elliecoo 518 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. Same thing I’ve learned to do at work which is based on an old Japanese philosophy/financial planning that I didn’t know about until last week.


    Everything fits into a category…

    Nice To Have:

    -boils down to if I have time, money and most importantly the motivation



    -being lazy


    -seeing friends

    -dating?? ahahahaha



    -going go work (money)

    -shopping for food

    -social activities


    -certain house items must get done at all costs (for example garage floor this year)

    -visit my dying friend at the hospital (earlier this year)

    -help parents around the house (furnace emergency)

    -if I had kids then they’d probably be here and under needs (school, activities, etc) as I suspect that I’d be like my parents and drag them to various activities/keep them in a tight sched.

    -sleep (sounds selfish but it is important to mental well being) because I get cranky, miserable and did I mention cranky/short tempered/assholish?

    For me, when I am busy I plan ahead my days.  Sometimes, well, most of the time things don’t according to plan so I always have a plan B, C, D, E… X so I have things I can jettison if need be or move to another day.  Accepting shit happening and things not going to plan is the hardest thing to do as it’s not easy keeping an even keel when things are flying in all directions, but I’ve learned (my dentist says I grind my teeth too much.)

    Flexibility is the key.  Planning is not dogma, but a guideline.  Too many people treat a plan like dogma which is where things go horribly wrong.  Being too flexible is bad too because your day becomes on big mad chase.  That is why the hierarchy of items comes to play.  The mission critical shit is the focus.  Everything else can be picked and chosen based on priority.

      • Learned from painful life lessons.  I was always the smart, but lazy/unmotivated kid in school because I believed I was so smart, I didn’t need to plan, prepare, organize because only morons did that… right?

        Life sometimes gives you the shit kicking you need.  Boy did it.

        University kicked the living shit out of me because I didn’t plan, prepare and organize anything in my life.  I barely graduated because of those reasons.After graduation, I got fired from my first job in part because I was a disorganized mess who barely learned the lesson life gave him.  It took me a long time to figure this shit out so I learned from pulling myself out of the outhouse of disorganization.For once I used my alleged intellect for something.  And from the ruins/ashes came these skills which has helped me get through life.

        • Same. I’m smart. I’ll just own that (I’ve been drinking so forgive my arrogance). So everything was easy for me. Which is great except it’s not great because when every thing is easy you get super lazy. Test? I don’t have to study. SAT? No sweat. LSAT? GMAT? Aced them all.

          I remember a friend in college who said, I wish I was like you. I’m like, what? He said, “You never study and you get a B on the test. I study for hours and I get an A. But you got to spend time drinking with your friends.” Um, Kevin? You won.

          In the real world actual work counts for more than brains. And because I could do anything I did basically nothing. I did what was easiest and the path of least resistance is not always the best path. And that’s cool if you’re rich but I’m not and never have been.

          The hardest thing for me was watching my daughter do the same things. We had fights about her giving up on things because they didn’t “come” to her right away (she’s also what Doctor Who calls “clever”).

          Okay, I gotta stop this. Getting maudlin here.

        • I had a similar, but kind of backwards, experience.  I was the kid who kept winding up in parent/teacher conferences because everyone knew how smart I was so why did my grades suck so much?  I was lazy as hell and didn’t do any of the daily work because–in my arrogance–I figured that if I knew it well enough to ace the test (which I did), then I didn’t need to do the work.  So I was getting 90’s and above on the tests but getting zeroes on the daily work and just barely making it from grade to grade.  I graduated high school with a cumulative 1.76.

          Managed to make it into college and it was amazing.  No busywork bullshit.  There were tests and significant projects like papers and that was it.  My first semester in college I got the very first 3.0 in my entire life.  I got several 4.0 semesters and landed on the honor roll.  WTF was that?

      • It’s not easy.  I don’t pretend I am an expert at it.  Sometimes I just say fuck it and grab some chips and watch TV and piss away the time.

        Chuck Von Clauswitz once said about war:

        “Everything in war is very simple. But the simplest thing is difficult.”

        In some small perverse way this applies to life as well.

  2. Well, that’s a loaded question.

    I don’t. I don’t balance well. I don’t consider alternatives and think about the angles and generally have a handle on things and think long-term and have backup plans and be ready to handle shit. I’m piss-poor at office politics and I seem to have no ability to suss out which way the wind is blowing.

    I tend to go all in on some things (borderline OCD) and when they don’t work out, I’m staring stupidly with my mouth open thinking, why the FUCK didn’t I see this coming?

    Case in point: My last job. I was digging in, putting in nights and weekends right up until I got called in and they said we’re letting you go. I literally thought I was being promoted the day they fired me.

    So this time I’m determined that I’m going to have backup plans. Plans B, C, and D. I may get called in and fired again but I’m gonna know exactly what I’m going to do when it happens.

    • I learned my office politicking skills the same way (painful experience.)

      As I mentioned I got fired from my first job.  In part it was my attitude.  In part it was my density not picking up the office politics at play.

      I am one of those that learn from pain (my pain specifically) and experience.  I learned survey the ground then to dodge and finally I learned to counter attack, but again it was experience that drove me.

  3. I can’t seem to find enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I need to. I don’t think the problem is me, it’s this damn 24 hour time table we live on.

    • In my industry (like many) there’s been this steady erosion of supply chain diversity and now everybody’s projects are simultaneously coming due and jammed up. Everybody is stuck trying to sling ten pounds of shit with 16 ounce Solo cups. I’ve told customers that if they sent a document package with literally every spec and drawing of their plant, I will be done sorting them three weeks after they want my bids in.

  4. I have failed to take care of myself, or more specifically, care for myself as I have always been sure to put others first. Putting others first helps me feel better about myself but now I feel it is time for balance in that regard. I know I can do both and now it is time to step up to the plate and even if I swing and miss I owe myself at least that.

  5. I live alone, so I can hermit off to myself and get the downtime I need when people or life has me stressed.

    I read an article about personal finance years ago where the author said he focuses on the idea that “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” If I/you/we focus on things needing to be perfect, when we fuck that up somehow, everything is a failure and falls apart. Example –*I’m dieting but had a donut for today, dammit I’m the fattiest fat fatty and just failed at this like everything else… might as well eat ALL THE THINGS.* compared to *I’m dieting but had a donut, I’ll make some adjustments for my food the rest of the day and try not to repeat this the rest of the week.”

    So yeah, I try to be kind to myself with expectations and plans. Because the perfect is the enemy of the good, and you know what? Good is good enough for most things in life.

    Also I find having my garden (flowers and veggies) to be amazingly soothing to my brain. I don’t really know why. But it is. Even today when I spent 2 hours doing something I thought would take 45 minutes.

  6. balance?


    thats one of those things i aspire to

    i am chaos incarnate

    im just about able to hold on to a job coz i dont want to be the dickhead that makes everyone homeless

    sides from that…i swing between manic hyperactivity and kill me please downers…..its exhausting

    (edit) music more or less balances me…..i put my cans on…and some semblance of calm eventually happens

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