The other day, I received one of the best compliments (in my mind) a freelancer can get:
“I really admire you, because you do all these things for yourself outside of work, and instead of it stressing you, it seems to make you more relaxed. You really have this whole work-life balance thing figured out, haven’t you?”
“All these things” are various activities involving physical movement (I don’t like to call it “sports”, because that sounds like I’m this awesome athlete which I’m really not, I just do different things that are fun, like dancing) or music or two (motorized) wheels.
And yes, I would say that I have this work-life balance thing figured out, because I try to follow the maxim of working to live, not living to work.
I have office hours that I stick to, I go on vacation with my phone off and the computer at home, and I turn down work when it would take away time I can spend doing what I love with people I love.
There are exceptions to this, of course, but that’s exactly what they are: exceptions, not regular occurrences!
I might not make a gazillion euros, but I make enough to keep up the life style that makes me happy, and that’s what it really is about, isn’t it?
By the way, Tess Witty over at Marketing Tips for Translators did a blog post on this that’s really worth listening to, especially if you’re struggling with this topic.