It is only fitting that I am writing about finding a life balance from a hotel room late at night.  I've spent the day going from meeting- to phone call- to attempt to update my data plan so I could read email- to deposition- to phone call- to Starbucks for the free wi-fi so I could check my email- to meeting- to desk- to car- to San Francisco, so I can get up and do it all over again.  It doesn't help that I'm walking like a zombie thanks to strained quads from navigating twenty eight flights of stairs yesterday (false alarm), or that I didn't leave the office again until one in the morning.

And that's just the day job.

Don't get me wrong.  I love my job.  As a litigation attorney, I write, I tell stories, I help people through stressful situations, and every now and then I get to go to trial and get my Susan Dey on.  But I can't always control how busy my caseload will be.  At a minimum, I can count on 60 hours of work a week.

I'm strictly a weekend warrior when it comes to writing.  I don't write during the week.  When I get home in the evenings, I just want to unwind, rest my brain and hang out with my family.  It  doesn't mean I'm not making progress on my manuscript. My commute time is my brainstorming time, a quiet space to listen to music and let ideas compost.  So while I won't open my manuscript from Sunday night until Saturday morning, I'm already thinking about the next scene or turning point, planning how to handle a point raised in my edit letter or just playing with a shiny new idea.

The family needs time too.  Kids need to get to guitar lessons, Saint Bernards need to get to the dog park.  Lunch needs to get-who am I kidding?- the family needs to go out to eat.

There's always more to do.  Blog posts, web site content, laundry.  So many things clamoring for attention.  How do I find balance?

Here's a secret.  I don't.

Sometimes I think we try too hard to find some perfect balance- as if we can be the perfect wife, mother, professional, writer and house manager all at one time. There is no such thing.


There will times in your life when all you can do is eat, sleep and run from one meeting to the next until you collapse for a few hours and do it all again.

There will be times when your family will have to come above everything else.  When you have to drop everything to help a loved one, celebrate a special occasion or take a vacation.

There will be times in your life when your writing must be a priority.  When you're nearing a deadline that can't be extended or getting an idea down on paper before its lost forever.

And in between there will be quieter moments.  Time to browse in a book store, go to a movie or have coffee with a friend.

Embrace them all.   Even the stress-filled crazy ones.  Find things and people you love and surround yourself with them.  Don't waste those precious moments with your family worrying that you haven't nailed that tricky scene yet. Don't beat yourself up because you're working on your manuscript while the rest of the family is at a movie.

Make your choices.

Live in the moment.

Because that's as close to a life balance as most of us will ever get.


Perfect post! Talia, you nailed it again!

Talia, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. LOVE.

Love that this post is punctuated by a time stamp in red. It says 4:00am. And seems so incredibly appropriate. LOVE IT!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for sharing this post. I'm in the exact same situation. Attorney, mom, aspiring author. It's stressful to live it, to want it, and not everyone understands why you're willing do to all that. Hearing from someone else who understands exactly - it makes you feel so much less alone. And less crazy! ;)

So true, Talia. I often marvel at people (you, specifically) who manage to accomplish so much --- and perhaps it's precisely because of your attitude that you are able to relax and trust the process enough to (eventually) do it all, balanced or not:-)

Great advice! Next time I feel stressed, I'll read this again!


*Reads it again*

Yep, there are times when, after weeks or months of CRAZY, CRAZY STUFF, you just gotta go sit in the living room and watch a movie. Or read. Or snuggle a baby.

I'm glad I'm not alone in this craziness. I've been gradually coming to grips with the fact that there are times when my life is not balanced and it feels like it never will be. But it's the path I've chosen and there are so many rewarding moments along the way.

Love it Talia. Tx for sharing. And your dog? How cute!


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