July 13 2009, 7:45 AM
I returned from my first camping trip this year covered in Salida dust and temporary tattoos I picked up at a beer festival. As I tried to scrub the soot off my toes, I realized I hadn't thought about work in over 24 hours, a personal record. After seven years in Colorado, I have a disappointing recreation resume. I have tried snowboarding four times. I can't name all the ski resorts, let alone debate the pros and cons of the fresh pow on the back bowls. (What's a "bowl" again?) I have not hiked a fourteener. I have not been kayaking, whitewater rafting, or even tubing. This is all because I work obsessively. I got a Master's (while holding down two jobs), started a nonprofit, and currently write for cool publications and drive around the state to play with different orchestras. I have always taken pride in the "workaholic" descriptor. Until now. Now, as I look back on a weekend that provided me with at least five new laugh lines, I realize how much I miss just being myself. So I'm making goals to try to balance having a life and working, trying to do some of the amazing things I have here in my backyard that Nebraskans would kill for. But being a workaholic, I can't just simply start having a life--I need a worksheet to fill out. I found this Day Grid Balancer from David Seah via Lifehacker, and I appreciate its style. The header of the get-a-life list is "Satisfying Things I Want To Do This Week Dammit," and it offers suggestions for various areas of your life, like "create," "converse," "home," "happy," and "health." While some of this sheet is too detailed even for this workaholic, I like the idea of not only setting goals but also taking the time to write down what non-work activities I prioritize and what area of my life they fulfill. While I work on planning my personal life, I'd like to hear about how you balance work and fun. Leave your tips in the comments.