I’ll be the first to admit that finding a balance between work and play is a challenge.

If you work in journalism long enough, you end up coming to pretty much one conclusion – you are always on call, and breaking news doesn’t like observing holidays or deadlines.

It’s why I kept my fingers crossed last week. I think just about everyone would be forgiven for wanting an uneventful end to the year that has been 2020.

But over the last few weeks of the year, I began contemplating what I’d let drop during the pandemic. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that this year was awfully hard when it came to sticking with hobbies – or exercise programs, online classes, diets and just about everything else.

I decided about two weeks ago that I needed to make an effort in my life to not bring my work home with me – or at the very least, set limits to how much time I worked at home and making sure I left time for other activities.

The end result is that I’ve read through nine books of a series I absolutely love (if you like urban fantasy, try Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series), I sat down and knitted through the opening stages of two different projects and I made serious progress on a crafting project that is now about halfway done.

It’s so odd to realize that when we sit back and go, “I just don’t have the time,” it’s really about not making the time. It’s taking a look at your schedule and realizing that if you don’t make the time, you can pretty much end up justifying not taking every break, pleasure or “down” moment out of your life by finding something that needs to be done.

That’s not saying we’re all not swamped or busy. Like I said earlier, I expect my life to be routinely upended by my job – it’s a fact of life.

But there’s also nothing wrong with allocating a little time away from the computer and the stress. Take a hot soak. Read a book. Craft. Play a game.

Enjoy the life you’ve got going on around you. Because Ferris Bueller said it truly back in the 1980s: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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