Work-life Balance

Digital artwork of some googley eyes.

Digital art Googley Eyes © 2011.

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Yes, pretty much!

The older I get the harder it gets for me to take time away from work. There's always emails needing checked, social media needing updated or a website to maintain and all that before I even pick up a paintbrush or pen stylus. Lately I have begun to see other things, like social events, as obstacles which get in the way of my work. Usually I don't want to go because there's work to be done. I don't know when I started getting things so wrong but I do know that, instead, I should be able to unwind.

As an effort to unwind I can watch TV programmes or movies, well, bits of them anyway. I tend to interrupt my own viewing to check up on things. Either that or I get inspired by something and my brain starts working on all these "great" ideas which completes the distraction. Playing guitar used to be an easy way for me to wind down. But not now, I can't remember the last time I picked it up. Then there's coversing with people. Quite often, I'm sure, I have a pretty gormless expression on my face. Again, the by-product of my imagination kicking in. It's certainly not (not usually at least) because I'm uninterested or bored by the conversation (ok some folk bore me to zombification) however I think I usually give that impression when I go all gormless.

In honesty I'm not really bothered about leaving a lot of my friendships at the wayside, if my close friends genuinely need me I'll still be there for them, but a big concern I have is with my family. Because I jump so readily into work mode I fear they often miss out by not getting my full attention. I work from home so that might be remedied to a certain extent if I were to begin working from a studio space away from home, but not completely. I think there would still be a bit of a fight needed to keep my attention away from my work.

So why be an artist and why work so much?

I could shift back into regular employment and work a lot less for a lot more money but there's more to life than money. The hours I work are justified too, to a point. The more work I put in the more customers I get. My little art business doesn't make a lot of money but it is heading in the right direction, so it should one day. The fact that I work so much seems counter-intuitive because I do so for my family and they miss out because I work so much but I'm heading for change. I want to find the right work-life balance for me and my family and if I can put the same effort into that goal as I have into my art career I'm sure I'll succeed.

Do I still know how to have fun?

Yes and no, I don't have fun in the same ways that I used to, though I'm sure age and maturity has something to do with that. My sense of humour seems to be the same though, yet I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad ha!

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