Over one of our marathon catch-up gabfests with my darling cousin Pei (who has been back in Taipei for a few days), we noted how difficult balancing our lives can be, especially with our careers. True, we have more tools at our disposal - email, cell phones, instant messages - but the demands are higher, too.
We want to do our work well, we want to take care of our health, we want to honor our community involvements, we want to pursue our interests, we want to relax, we want to have fun. We also have what I call the business of living - clothing to launder, groceries to buy, bills to pay, homes to clean. And then of course there are our loved ones - and we do not want to have to chose between any of our friends. All too often, however, connections are like branches in rapids, to meet up briefly before being separated again.
Do our personal lives suffer? I have friends I haven't seen in awhile - we play phone tag and text message, but I am either too tired to go out when they are out, or vice versa.
Pei told me how a few co-workers tried to set her up on a blind date. But after several failed attempts to schedule a date (he was on a business trip, she was on a business trip, etc.), he suggested giving up as there wasn't enough yuan fen to even met up, let alone to imagine something sparking from there. How does one date nowadays? If you see someone only on the weekends, does it mean they are not really interested, or is this just the reality of balancing schedules?
How do we squeeze everything beyond our careers - our interests, our friends, our lives - into the 48 hours of a weekend?