There’s no escaping the great pendulum swing of life.
In my life at the moment there’s not a whole lot of work life balance going on. The reason being that for so long I’ve lived my life on someone else’s clock and I’m only just compensating for that imbalance now.
I remember when I went travelling about 5 years ago (see my travel blog) and lived in Thailand and Italy. My parents said to me “Don’t run out of money and ask us to bail you out for a plane ticket back home!” Of course being young and stupid I ended up doing exactly that. I also bought a motorbike a few years back with a personal bank loan that has stuck around, as well a friend of mine helping me pay for a pretty big trip overseas too.
So now i’m on the other, less fun side of that pendulum swing.
I plan to go travelling in November and work at Banff ski resort, Canada as a bartender and then check out America and India. But before I can do that I have to pay off all my debts, especially to my parents. The only viable way for me to do that in such a short time is to work my ass off all available hours of the day. I’m making great money being an uber driver at the moment, but it comes at the cost of my social life. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to party and socalise and so this sacrifice is certainly noticable. But as always I believe that the only way to learn a big lesson is to make a big mistake. The pain of your failures will burn deep into your subconscious and change your ingrained behaviours.
I will always stick by my guns in the belief that you must always live your life in a way that makes the most sense to you at the time. Even if what you are doing goes against all of the advice you’ve heard from others. You can never really learn from someone else’s mistakes anyway. Yes they can give you signposts and pointers in the right direction, but they can never be the defining force that ultimately changes your behavior. It’s only through action and reaction that you will organically change your behaviour, otherwise you’re just forcing a behaviour you don’t fully believe in.
So because I swung the pendulum so far one way living on borrowed time, I am now riding the pendulum all the way back before I can establish a better balance. So that in the future I can swing the pendulum in a more balanced, rhythmic and efficient way that doesn’t put myself or put others out so much. These are the lessons we must learn as we grow up. These are the lessons that we will pass to our children one day, hopefully in an attempt to soften their mistakes. I still don’t think you can ever really stop them from making those mistakes though. People will always live their lives making sacrifices for the future and learning from past mistakes, that’s the human condition. Evolution never stops.
At least at the moment to balance out the challenges of constant work and no social life, I have taken up a renewed interest in fitness. I am trying a new dieting plan called intermittent fasting where I eat all of my food from 8pm – 10pm. It gives my body a chance to burn more fat in the mornings, gives me an energy boost in the morning, keeps me looking good and allows me to put on some lean muscle, provided you still eat the required macros in your eating window. I’ve also signed up to a Mixed Martial Arts gym where I’m practicing Kickboxing and Boxing. I love it already and I can tell it’s going to be something I stick with for a long time. It keeps me fit and feels good to get your aggression out in a productive way. Plus it gives you satisfaction knowing you are developing the skills to defend yourself and others if you ever need them.
So to summarise- don’t spend your life living on someone else’s clock, unless you really really have to, because you’ll have to pay for it eventually. In my case its not so bad. But when I think back to my time working at a debt consolidation company, where people would call up with crazy amounts of credit card and mortgage debt I realise that it can get a wholeeee lot worse.