woman in conical hat carrying flowers on scale

Work-Life balance: Tipping the scales in favour of life

Another weekend in Edinburgh! Like a child yesterday, I was so excited to get my holiday started. What began as a trip to Edinburgh for the theatre turned into a 3 night mini break and writing retreat. I even managed to keep myself occupied on the train to avoid the ‘are we there yet?’ questioning.

The Problem

Since August I’ve been battling with work demands taking up all my time. This has deprived me of the time to work on other things, such as my writing. What I realise now is that I’ve been allowing it to dominate despite my desire for a better work-life balance.

The reality since the end of August is that I’m eating, sleeping and working. Sometimes working and eating simultaneously. If I don’t have company, I’ll grab something and continue working while I eat. Despite knowing that this is not good for me or my health, the drive to keep working is so strong.

Trying to Blog

Despite being busy, I knew I wanted to write; I have really missed writing.  However, when I tried to write, I couldn’t. I was too exhausted, lacking the energy to write. I could sit down to write but was without focus. Additionally, I found that despite the desire to write and engage with the blogging community – it wasn’t working for me.

I was trying to think through what was going on here. I’m missing many things: blogging; writing; the blogging community and the engagement that comes through the comments. I’m missing chatting with my blogging friends.  I know that sometimes people feel guilty, under pressure to blog when they’re absent. They think that others, their readers, expect them to post. However, this is not what I was feeling. es I’ve missed the contact, the connections. However, for me, the drive is to engage with the community.

On reflection, its clear that blogging, despite my recent relative silence, is important to me. It is an integral part of who I am and who I want to be. However, despite that, I’ve allowed work to take over all aspects of my life completely.

Point of desperation

Realising where I was and being unhappy at where found myself, even though it was a reality of my own making, I knew I had to do something.

I tried to redress the balance; giving myself some time to write but as indicated above, the energy wasn’t there. Maybe I was exhausted or the thoughts of the work tasks were pushing in, but I couldn’t focus on writing.  Maybe those pressures are also what was preventing the creation of the required creative writing conditions.

We know that to be successful bloggers, we need to publish regularly and consistently. Despite this knowledge, I managed occasional posts, but they haven’t been regular.

Reclaiming the balance

Recognising that my attempts to take back control, trying to rebalance wasn’t working, I knew something more drastic was necessary. I can’t just wait for things to settle or change, I needed to take control of the situation. The only way I am going to find a good work-life balance again is to force it.

An opportunity presents itself

The planned trip to Edinburgh to the theatre was the perfect opportunity. I decided to expand the visit, turning it into a holiday weekend (Friday night – Monday morning). So my weekend will be theatre, exploring Edinburgh (can’t promise not to get lost) and a focus on writing. Its now Saturday night and I had a great time at the opera and I haven’t got lost – yet!

I’ve left my work “things” behind and my case is packed with writing tools. I haven’t set myself any targets, I just know I need to take back control, re-establishing some balance between work and life. Putting some ‘life’ in my life.

Throughout Friday I found myself fighting the desire to consider bringing work with me on my trip. I did resist and am pleased to say it paid off. I put a notebook and pens in my handbag. By changing my focus I was able to draft this post during my train journey to Edinburgh . It seems I really want to maximise the writing potential of this weekend.

I’ve discovered maintaining a work-life balance – or should I say life-work balance is much more difficult than I imagined. Its so easy to take your eye off the ball and the balance is lost.

How do you maintain a good work-life balance? Do you have any tricks or tips to share for this struggling blogging friend?


  1. Interesting read about happenings and the pattern in these days of busy schedules.
    Yes. We all love blogging, that does not mean we have to be under pressure.
    I feel you are doing right thing.
    I was blogging like a mad fellow at the cost of so many other things which are more important than blogging
    I realised now, and hardly one article per day I post now.
    You are right, when you say, you miss reading, commenting and receiving others comments.
    But that is not our entire life.
    That is just a miniscule part, which no doubt we enjoy
    Take it easy
    Do things as per your convenience.
    Take care.
    Good morning from India.
    Have a great Sunday.

  2. I hope others chime in with some thoughts Brenda since I’m retired and don’t have that work issue hounding me. I have always been a random blogger so I think my regular readers are used to that. I’ve noticed many that I follow do the same and have become more random in how often they post. I love the engagement as well, no matter how often someone writes. I find it more important just to know that you are still out there, maybe busy for now, but grateful when you sneak in a post to update us.

  3. Hi, Brenda.

    So good to be reading this… so relatable too. glad you didn’t carry along that “work”…. this break much needed for you and enjoying the most important…. and that you haven’t got lost yet… 🤞😁

    ” I just know I need to take back control, re-establishing some balance between work and life. Putting some ‘life’ in my life…” 👌nicely said.


    • Morning Destiny. 😁
      Glad to hear from you too 😃
      I had such a great day yesterday … coffee, chatting, a little bit exploring a book shop, dinner and then the theatre. It was so much fun. And then back to my room to finish off and publish my post. I’d say a perfect day.

  4. I feel the dismal rainy, wintery weather intrusion is getting to be a grind. Writing involves a bright outlook and optimism. To explore subject matter related to blogs requires energy and spirit of enjoyment too. As you say, your trip has brought about an uplift in outlook. When I was full time nursing? Blogs were seldom. Like yourself, exhaustion dominated life. Now retired, the blogs are more regular. But the weather impacts too. I hunker down and become quiet within the house. Subjects to write about become introverted and problematic ‘woe is me’. 😊 . Well….music the exception. Christmas is around the corner and this period always provides thoughtful exploration of a positive nature. Your posts are always insightful and always deserve a read. All the best Brenda.

  5. “It’s so easy to take your eye off the ball and the balance is lost.”
    This is so true regarding everything in life to be frank. Thank you for sharing this post. Work life balance is definitely a delicate dance.

  6. ‘Delicate dance’ … so true. I think someone’s been treading on my toes.
    Thank you for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  7. Gosh…I wish I had good advice. The only thing I know for sure is that you’ll find what works best for you and it will be a sweet relief. The challenge to do all that we love and not literally lose ourselves in process — with exhaustion and total depletion – is such a conundrum. Most of all, take care of yourself first and the writing will be sweeter for it when the time is right. xo! 🥰

    • Thanks Vicki. I think, even if others don’t have any solutions/recommendations, just hearing from everyone is reward enough for writing. And certainly this weekend has been a big boost of self-care. Its been nice, but not something I could do every weekend – but then I guess if I did it every weekend, it wouldn’t be special either. But it has been a lovely break and god to focus on myself and just sit and do nothing sometimes too. No pressure 🙂

      As ever, its lovely to hear from you dear Vicki 😘

      • I like your thought — your weekend was special because it was a welcome treat. No pressure…just being and enjoying. Filling up again! Hugs to you…hope the coming week is a good one. xo! 🥰

  8. Your post is so relatable! I am sorry to hear that you have been struggling with life/work balance!

    I tend to drown myself in work, but the problem is not the job I’m in. It’s me. What can get in the way of work-life balance is that approval often matters more than the balance I claim I want. I am ambitious and want to do great things and as soon as a project is done I’m hungry for the next one. I want hard work. I want to push myself and test myself. I want to learn. Sometimes work-life balance is hard because there is a discrepancy between what I say I want and what I really, truly want. I’m sending everyone mixed signals, including myself. Sometimes work-life balance is hard because my demands on it are a poor fit for the job that I am in. My boss assures me that employees come first and that people are the most important thing, yet I don’t see him telling me it’s time to go home after lunch because I worked late the night before.

    Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your trip to Edinburgh! Aiva 🙂 xx

    • Thanks Aiva. I have had a good time in Edinburgh and have enjoyed the opportunity to relax. I’ve had a quiet day today and been able to spend the time writing. I’m at a different stage in my life; I’m happy where I am career wise and will be content to stay here for the next 10 years or so, until I retire but it sounds like you’re right and need to figure out what you really want/need from your career and what is driving you. But at the same time, work life balance, although different for everyone, is about looking after yourself – your own health and wellbeing, don’t sacrifice your health is the only advice I can give you. I know coming back to that is what forces me back on track

  9. Glad you are realizing you need to shift the balance for yourself. I am in the middle of a change too, working on giving my writing more of a central stage (journaling daily, etc).

    • I was chatting with my friend earlier today and she’s suggested I maybe look at setting aside a day a week just to focus on writing. I’m not sure a full day at the moment is practical because of other issues, but I will see if I can manage/create half a day I can do that with.

      • I’m finding that only setting aside an hour or two isn’t enough to change focus effectively. I need time to transition. As I’m typing, I’m thinking maybe I need a ritual or something that signifies the change

      • My initial thoughts are to maybe do extra hours on a Thursday or start working earlier on a Friday, when I work from home. That way I can clear a Friday afternoon. At the moment I’m only seeing my husband at the weekend, so I don’t want to take away from time with him

  10. I hope you find a way to re-establish balance and make more time for life, Brenda. It is difficult, and something I have struggled with over the years. For me, a life-threatening illness helped me reset my priorities. Since then, I am very aware of carving out time for things that matter and setting boundaries because if I don’t, no-one will.

    P.S. I also love the blogging community and the engagement. It has been one of my most pleasant surprises since I started blogging.

    • I thought I had set some boundaries, I think they were just slipping. I guess I took my eye off the ball, and work took over. But hopefully this weekend will have helped. I certainly feel I’ve benefitted from my weekend

  11. Nice to see you posting again. Life-work balance is tricky when you have a demanding job, but identifying writing as a top priority and something that supports your wellbeing should hopefully help you carve out a little me time for doing it. I’ve just published a blog post on burnout and tips to prevent it, which is in a similar vein. I’m not suffering from it myself but I have plenty of times in the past.

    • Thanks Laura. Yes, it feels good to be back and I’m hoping I can keep on track going forward. I’ll check your post.

  12. I don’t have a work-life balance because I don’t work, but I do have a messed-up life-blogging balance right now. Life has thrown some stuff at us that is keeping us too busy to write posts, so I definitely feel your pain. Hang in there my friend.

  13. I used to suffer from “work, work work, I live to work” until the family said, they wished the old me was back. So now I leave “work” at work. It occurred to me I could drop dead and work would continue without even noticing the dead body in the middle of the floor. Work will always be thereregardless of how many hours you put in. The other day I was so into the writing grove, I spent several hours I should have been working, writing, researching. It was the best day. You’ll read about it next month.

    • Sounds great Danny. I think the students might get upset if I do that during class, but it really does feel great when you get into the zone

  14. I think that there is no one-size-fits-all for work-life balance. My job is based on objectives linked to deadlines and I can organize myself as I wish. Of course there are peak periods where I am extremely busy but generally speaking I have enough free time to rest and do activities that I like. Try to practice mindfulness, it may help.

    • Thanks Cristiana. It occurred to me too that the problem is a lack of mindfulness/awareness of what I’m doing. I definitely think practicing mindfulness will help. Thanks for the suggestion 😁

  15. Being retired, I don’t have the same work-life balance problem, Brenda. However, I’m so pleased that you did not feel the need to apologies in your post for your lack of blogging.

    One of the biggest mistakes I see many bloggers make is setting themselves a schedule of how often they will publish posts and on what days. This only forces them into writing and publishing posts when they find that life gets in the way. Panic then sets in, and it’s not long before they start apologising to their readers and start feeling despondent about blogging.

    Blog when you can (including when you can read posts and leave genuine comments that open up engagement). If you don’t have the time, don’t do it, but don’t feel bad about it.

    It took me years to find my perfect blogging schedule. And when I realised it was to enjoy blogging and to write and publish posts when I had something of value to say, I wondered why it had taken me so long to find that balance.

    One last piece of advice to everyone is don’t feel you have to rush and read and leave a comment on posts as son as they’re published. Those post will still be there in a weeks time, and hopefully so will the ability to leave comments on them. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.

    • Thank you Hugh. I think you’ve touched on so many important points here. Realising that you are putting yourself under so much pressure to meet your own schedules feels like a weight lifted, and we have discussed this at other times too. I found, when I was writing this that it didn’t occur to me to apologise – I was writing when I could and because I had something I wanted to say. What I did find though, was that I started justifying/explaining my absence, but I removed that as I realised it was still a kind of apology, and I didn’t feel the need to apologise or justify my absence. A bit like the mindfulness to stop constantly working, I needed to break the justification habit. I found myself saying that I should simply focus on my message – that’s what’s important. I also think when you get to that point, it frees you to write – I hope that makes sense.

      • Oh, it does, Brenda. I recall the day I found my blogging balance. I felt so free and started enjoying to write and blog again.

  16. I love the reset you found on your weekend away! This time of year I normally struggle with work being all consuming (3 event days in the span of a week) but early this year we changed ownership at work…and my new boss is ALL about work/life balance. She’s pushed me to take time off, to reevaluate the way things are done to free up time/resources and just all around looks out for her staff without changing the service we give to our customers. Is there someone at work or familiar enough with your job that offer their input and maybe give you a fresh look at the things on your plate?

    • It sounds like you have found a good, new boss. I’ll need to think about your question. I think there’s just so much stress and pressure in the sector and everyone is feeling the same. I think maybe it might be an idea to get an outside perspective … someone without the ‘baggage’ etc to come in with fresh eyes. However, taking a step back I find I’m looking at things with fresh eyes. Re-evaluating what’s important and can see some changes I could make. I think we get into routines and bad habits that aren’t always helpful. Even something as simple as turning off Teams notifications and the evening and weekends. And being more assertive in saying no. I had a student ask if they could send me something on a Friday night, expecting I would review and feed back to her by the Sunday. She really didn’t see anything wrong with this. I found out today that when I said no, she contacted my colleague. I think I need to be more ‘careful’ with my time and stop being so accommodating … looks like I need to change some behaviours 😳😬

      • Baby steps are a good thing, Brenda! I have always struggled with being too accommodating….my default answer is “Sure I can do that” then wonder when I can manage it. I started replacing that auto-acceptance with “Let me check my schedule/calendar and get back to you”. That gives me a pause to evaluate if I have time and even want to say yes to the request, instead of automatically agreeing and then regretting it. 💞

      • I tried that and students complained lol. But I need to stick to my guns, and they’ll learn.

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