Fitting It-All-In

Fitting it-all-in. Yeah right. All of it, into a life. One life. Getting the balance right. That’s what I’m going to tackle today.

Fitting it-all-into one life is easy. 


Sure, if you’re Buddhist or maybe one of those people that throw everything away except the essentials like a tweezers and a chip clip. Or, those people who have no trash. People that have little mason jars that they bring to a grocery store and fill with lunch meat, so they don’t bring home packaging and use Cinnamon sticks for eyeliner. Those people are seriously organized. I bet they can fit-it-all in. But I don’t hang around with those people. I hang around with you. I got you babe. If you want to make yourself miserable check this out

See, I have a lot of stuff (shoes) and trash (razors) and everyday I consider how I’m going to fit-it-all in I’m pretty sure some of that stuff and trash get in the way. So given real life, a life filled with stuff and trash, I wonder….

[Tweet “How I’m going to sleep, eat, exercise and wash my face. Ugh my face. So much washing. “]

Then someone asked me to contribute to an article on work life balance and I thought, Me? You’re asking me? Gwad.


So I thought about it and I wrote this.


I think that work-life balance is really difficult to achieve and probably no one really does a good job. If we are asking the question it is a statement of our lives. If we believe that our work and our lives are separate and that we need to somehow balance our two (separate) lives, we are always going to be on a teeter totter.  Teetering and Tottering.


The problem is that we don’t do well with trying to integrate our competing lives. There is the life that needs to work and have health insurance and the life that likes to create art or raise children or whatever any one person’s particular passion is.


Those lives compete but do they have to? What if we were to do what Confucius is reported to have said, “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” This idea is an attempt to fullfill a work life with a passionate life. This is the ultimate ‘work smart’ idea.


Maybe this is not a possible scenario for most people but I believe it makes more sense than separating our work life from our actual lives-and then trying to strike a daily balance. That separation I think can cause major stress, dissatisfaction, and desperationa. Better for us to at least try a partial if not full integration of what we love and where we work.


Am I doing that?

Yes, when I’m writing and teaching. No when I’m sitting in committee meetings. Yes, when I’m traveling and teaching. No when I’m trying to organize my email into something manageable. So sometimes I’m not on the teeter totter and sometimes I am.



I have friends that have jobs that while the jobs might not  be their passion per se they are really good at them. They may not be into life insurance as a job but they are awesome at organizing, following-up, connecting with people, and they find fulfillment by getting things done.


Sometimes our passions lead to less passionate feelings if we end up doing them every day. For example, people who love math but hate teaching math so we have to be careful.


Plus, mostly our passions don’t always pay, right? Take writing. Doesn’t pay for most of us. But communicating pays. Teaching pays. So, maybe if we redefine our passions by looking at the things we are good and maximizing our time doing those things, we can reduce the stress of thinking we are doing something wrong and start giving ourselves credit for doing something right.


Maybe you’re thinking, “Hey, I read this blog because I thought you were going to tell me how to fit my kid’s fundraising into my life so I can get some sleep”. I’m not a miracle worker. But, maybe if we recognize when we are using our skills as a time when we are using our passions, we will feel less exhausted at the end of the day.


I’m not super sure on this but I think this is what I do. But remember, I have a lot of trash and so maybe you want to go visit those people who don’t have any and see what they say.  Or consider a little Less Hustle More Joy and read this.



  1. Vicky D'Agostino on March 9, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Refreshing and funny point of view Ann! Work life balance is the holy grail we seek but few find.There are so many cliches around this topic it’s tempting to think we’re not doing something right most of our days. I like your idea of redefining passions by the things we do well and giving ourselves pats on the back for those. More joy is the holy grail, and much easier to embrace!

  2. […] obviously think about this a lot. I went on about it here and here […]

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