Saturday, September 18, 2004

Balance is a lie.

I’ve talked about life balance before, I think. Balance says that you should find a way of doing everything in its proper proportion. It says that, in a given week, you’ll always be giving a certain percent of your time to work, another percent to your family, another percent to your friends, and so on. It says that you should seek a way of serving all your needs and goals essentially at the same time.

I think this is wrong.

I think that life changes too much to allow that. I think that sometimes we have to give 100% to work, to the exclusion of the rest of our lives. I think that sometimes we should sacrifice everything for a friend. I think that we should let our lives be unbalanced.

This is not to suggest that we shouldn’t pursue all of our goals, or that we should let one thing dominate our lives. But I think a lot of people are pursuing an empty dream of balance, a goal that can never be reached.

A personal example: This past summer, Saalon needed an extra pair of hands in making his latest movie, Dreaming by Strobelight. So I took a week off work, drove six hours to Pittsburgh, and assembled sets and hauled props for sixteen hours a day. A very unbalanced thing to do. I had to put the rest of my life on hold, too. But it was one of the grandest experiences of my life. I would gladly pay to experience that week again.

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