I'm a big fan of God's favorite ratio, 6:1. Six parts hard, fulfilling work to one part total rest and refreshment. Hard work is fulfilling in itself. It's satisfying to use your body and your mind to accomplish, especially when it benefits more than just you. It feels good to see things happen when you've put in effort. We're made to work.
But everybody's work looks a little different. For some of us just getting our pants on in the morning is quite the chore. For some people making it through the day alive is their work. If you're looking for a "good" job, forget the idea that "if you can find a job you love you won't work another day in your life." That's bullshit. A pretentious, first world ideal. Even in America, work is still work. You're actually really lucky if you find a job where you enjoy 51% of the tasks it entails.
And don't forget that one part rest. REAL rest. Not sleeping the day away, numbed out and distracted. I'm talking about spending a good solid chunk of time allowing yourself to do the things that really fill you up. Maybe sleep is a part, but what about just being quiet? Listening to music? Watching some good old-fashioned nature? Spending time out where your heart feels free and unburdened? Actually having some fun that you don't regret later? Laughing till your guts hurt?
But the real win is in that ratio. When I work too much I can't sleep. I miss my family. I stress out and run ragged and hate my life. When I rest too much I get lazy and depressed and bored. Gotta go for that six to one. That's the sweet spot. The good life.
Unsplash photo cred: Neil Mark Thomas