I’m a Libra so apparently I’m balanced.
These days I’m finding it increasingly difficult.
How to steady the tightrope between work and play, offline and online; craving the energy of a big city and wanting to escape to the countryside?
This weekend was good to restore some balance. I did the sorts of things that have been lacking in my lifestyle lately. Cooking, wine-drinking, reading books, creating things, playing with the dog. Switched off the screens and paid attention to what’s happening around me.
Over New Years I did the same. A week off the grid in the rainforest.
I don’t always have the option to run away to ‘tech rehab’. Neither do I have the want.
It’s what Hugh McLeod calls The Sex & Cash Theory, ‘balancing the need to make a good living while still maintaining one’s creative sovereignty.’
Whether it’s making a living or making it all work, if you are a human, you are going to struggle with duality in your life.
The “sexy” stuff – creating art, jumping out of planes, writing that novel – doesn’t match up with the “cash”, the things we do to survive, like day jobs, sleep and eating.
We are told it can though. That we can make it all work. If we just try a bit harder.
Women often bring up this debate around work/home life balance. Artists inevitably struggle with the tension between doing creative work and ‘work that pays the bills’.
So what to make of it?
I’ve come round to thinking that chasing any harmony is going to be a lot of hard work. Possibly elusive. You are chasing things that are always going to be in direct conflict.
The exciting part is owning up to that chaos. The division between wanting to be one way or the other does not result in two discrete entities, but rather a continuum from one extreme to the other.
The idealistic picture you have of freedom – the pot of gold you are chasing – is not necessarily the one you really want. Do you really want to sit on a beach every single day and never work again?
We want a variety of things. Not just to create art or to be in a movie or get paid to play video games or be part of the NY Knicks; we want to eat, sleep, drink, talk, and dream some more.
Dad and I were looking at black and white photographs tonight. We got talking about what makes a monochrome picture amazing. It’s not just the white and black but the range of shades in between.
So who are you, really, and what do you want? Lots, I reckon.