Hi, my name is Crystal and I never intended to be a workaholic. Really. I spent my early 20’s thinking that workaholics needed to get out more, develop some hobbies, make some friends. Then I discovered blogging and blog advertising when I was 27, and I have been trying to find a good work-life balance for the last 3 years.
Balance is Important
When I first jumped into blogging in 2010, I just saw it as a really fun hobby. I did put a lot of time into it, but I fit it in around my day job and time with family and friends. But in 2011, I decided to turn it into my full time job. That’s when I sort of stopped existing to everyone I knew “in real life”.
I worked and commuted for a total of 45-48 hours a week at my day job. But then I also fit in 40-50 hours a week at home taking care of my online world. I usually only hung out with my husband and anyone else about once a week without a computer in my lap.
The payout was quitting my day job in July 2011, but that didn’t actually free up any of my time. I just kept taking on more and more clients, started handling more and more emails, and started accepting every freelance gig that I could get. The few close friends I had were really supportive and completely understood what self-employment entailed, but I missed them. I missed just hanging out with my hubby or catching a movie with the group. I missed having any social life at all that wasn’t email-based.
Finding the Work Balance
By early 2012, I knew that I needed help with my business, and I needed to work somewhat normal hours so I could have a life outside of the internet again. My husband actually quit his day job in January 2012 to take over the record keeping and some emails. That cut about 20 hours for me weekly, so I was down to 70-80 hour work weeks. As he learned, those hours balanced out a little more.
Now I work from home for about 60 hours a week and hubby is working about 30 hours at his computer. About half of my hours are spent blogging, which he doesn’t do. But he does work on the side as a varsity sports official for football and softball, so we each have our own hobby jobs. We are both satisfied with our work life, so at least we have the “work” part of the balance taken care of.
Finding the Life Balance
Finding a good balance in our social lives has been a bit more difficult. We had a hard time connecting with anyone else after we graduated in 2005. But we made some very close friends in late 2009 and connected with another close group of awesome people in late 2012 (yay for board gamers!!!). We love hanging out every spare minute that we can find. That isn’t exactly balance…but for now, it is what it is going to be. We enjoy our friends and if hanging out 5-6 times a week is a bit much, so be it. We still find the time to take care of the basic chores and aren’t falling behind on work, so that is the definition of balance for us right now. I’m sure as our friendships mature, we’ll actually have free time again, but I see pure free time as over-rated thus far.
What is your work-life balance? Are you trying to fit in more work time or play time? What suggestions would you have for others?
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