Figuring Out the Life-Work Balance Thing

“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. ”
                                                                                                               ~ Robert Fulgham


The transition continues… what to do now?  Who isn’t at an age, and I mean any age, and not transitioning?  So, what to do now, or next, or then, or soon… In this time of global communication, incredible e-commerce where we can find anything we our hearts desire through the world-wide web: dinner take-away delivered,  market delivery of groceries, dog walkers for your pup’s mid day walk, selling wares, or learning a language, or getting a degree!

How do we find our groove and our rhythm for this balance of pleasure with family and friends and earning a living and creating income?

Driving through San Francisco with some twenty-somethings yesterday, we spoke about this life:work balance conundrum, and these guys have it figured out already!  Bully to those of us that know we need to earn a living, enough to live as we want and enough to enjoy, or learn what we enjoy, and to also just have fun discovering life.  And that in essence is what the discussion was about, working for a company that you could believe in, and still have time to write books,  kickback at concert festivals, sing and dance, and get your party-hat on, go to school, whatever! To grab the twenty-something lingo, the convo was dope and their living in the moment vibe was, too!

Over the weekend I had a small dinner party at my flat (which would later turn in to an 80’s dance party) and conversation began to swirl around life:work balance, how to achieve it, all the while downing copious amounts of yummy food and wine.  We’d imbibed a good bit before and during dinner, so the conversation was animated and somewhat passionate about not wasting time, or waiting to do the things we want to do. Some of the conversation went to work we’d done in the past  These friends were all about just jumping in and doing what they dream!  Do ‘it’ now, they said, don’t wait for anything, and it’s best to live fully and have no regrets!

I’m coming to a thought about this balance of life, and living, and working…  it feels like a portfolio of sorts; like when someone does a variety of things to earn a living coupling it with their passion or hobbies. With this sort of earning model there are streams of income: could be a mainstream job in an industry you like, could be earning some bucks from a pleasure like stained glass or writing, another stream maybe a multilevel marketing company, and still another could be an online business such selling through Etsy or teaching a language through a mobile app, or having that garage band.  Really in today’s world and with the use of technology, we can be more, do more, be more efficient, and have more time!  Those twenty-somethings are on to something for certain.

Back in the day, we used to term this type of employment as doing the ‘odd job’, which doesn’t have quite the wow factor and also minimized the potential of the income.  This portfolio employment or income idea, though not new, has a ring to it, it also has traditional connotations to financial income such as dividend income, etc.  What we’re seeing more of today are people working a job with a little ‘j’ and another with a big ‘J’, or working a job and running a business as well, or having taken their hobby or interest and also generating income from that as well. It has always been a key to financial health to have multiple income streams, and this portfolio employment or income idea, though not new, has a ring to it.

For me, as I transition, I’m writing, which is a pleasure.  Since I dream of living abroad and working, I’m also completing my TEFL Certification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language); I can satisfy a dream of living in various cultures learning about people and the world  and make a living and be a good global citizen.  Another potential stream of income is to teach English through a mobile application that will connect me with someone anywhere in the world for tutoring. The beautiful thing about all of these endeavors (writing, teaching English, and traveling the world) is that I can do them all from anywhere in the world!

Here are some solid connections for you that are helping me:

TEFLExpress –, which also, by the way, has a Groupon offer at the time I’m writing this entry, for their 160 hour course at an awesome discount!

Savant is a mobile app for teaching and learning English –

I believe both groups of friends are on to something and not to far away from each other in the big picture… Enjoy life, first!  We all have to earn our way, so find a way to joyfully balance a life:work combo, perhaps with this portfolio income scenario, doing  whatever suits us by creatively using our talents, and satisfying our budget!


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