Balance is the key to a good life. Eat your veggies, but splurge on the sweets when you want to. Work out often but don’t make it your only priority. Turn off the email notifications when you get home from work. Set date nights once a week or a few times a month. But how are you supposed to balance everything when not all of it even fits on the scale?
Right now, I am swimming in responsibilities. As Angelica from Rugrats put it, “That means I’m not allowed to have fun anymore.” Word, Angelica, word. And I am constantly tired. And when I’m not physically tired, I’m mentally tired. And in the words of Tommy Pickles, I truly just want to go get my blankie, my juice and go nap nap.
But my Dad always told me that if I want to be successful, I won’t get there by working 40 hours a week. And he’s right. I mean, sure I could work 40 hours a week and maybe hit my 6-figure salary goal in 20 years. But I’m trying to do that by the time I’m 30. So right now, I am absolutely drowning in life because I go by the work smarter and work harder philosophy. Working two jobs totaling nearly 70 hours a week and going to grad school – well, I feel like I never sleep.
But here’s the one thing I won’t give up (and where I contest Angelica’s mantra): a social life. Too many times have I stayed in because I was tired. And now I’m realizing that tired is a perspective. Sure I should have gone home after my bar shifts this week and caught up on my precious z’s. But I look at it this way. If I had gone home and gone to bed, I probably still would have spent an hour scrolling through social media! So going out for late night eats with the boy toy for an hour was way worth it, even if it meant less sleep. And going out with friends for a beer after work to my favorite bar was so necessary. We ordered a ton of food and just hung out. And I had a blast. I didn’t totally finish my homework that night, but I got it done eventually.
All in all, I’ve definitely bitten off a little too much. And don’t get me wrong burning the tank can absolutely affect my work performance, so I’m still trying to keep the scales somewhat even. But going out with friends and continuing to surround yourself with love and laughter even through some of the toughest weeks really is the key to surviving your 20s as an overworked and underpaid millennial.