Work/Life Balance

I had a huge blowout with my friend Vivian this week. I was telling her that I’m worried about not having enough time to balance my job, gambling habits, writing, and jug band all at the same time. I love games of chance, and Seamus just taught me how to beat the house at blackjack, so I can’t give that up. And my paycheck is the only thing that allows me to gamble, so that left writing and jug band on the chopping block. I needed to discuss my dilemma with someone close to me. Someone who would understand the internal struggle I was going through. Clearly that person was not Vivian.

“So, I think that music might be my true calling. You’re a musician, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, right?”

“Jenny. You cannot choose jug band over writing – are you nuts?! Stop playing the damn spoons!”

“Stop playing the damn spoons? You did not seriously just say that to me. Okay, what part of I’m in a jug band now do you not understand?!”

“Um, pretty much starting with the part where you said jug band.”

“Look, Viv. Let me explain it to you again – I’m in a jug band now. This is who I am. And if you can’t seem to accept that, then maybe I need to hang out with someone who can.”

“Fine, Jenny. So play the spoons and write. How hard can it really be to clack some spoons on your leg? A monkey could do that.”

“A monkey could do that? A monkey?! A monkey can do three finger rolls, a double thigh slap, and a side knee tap, all while keeping time with the banjo player? Find me one monkey with bruises all over its thighs from practicing for hours every night and risking eviction due to excessive spoon noise. Well? Go ahead! You can’t, can you?!”

“You have bruises on your thighs? Gross. Why don’t you play the washboard?”


“Jenny. Calm down. I’m just saying that I think you’re being irrational. You can figure out a way to balance all these things in your life. I mean, if jug band has to be put on hold for a while, I’m sure it will-“

“I can’t talk to you right now. I’m too emotional. Why don’t you go find that spoon-playing monkey to talk to? Oh wait – I know. Because it doesn’t exist!”

“Lord help me. Bye, Jenny.”


After I cooled down for a while, I realized that Vivian might have had a point. I’ve always been good at multi-tasking, so maybe I could juggle all these different priorities at once. All I need is a well thought out action plan. Fortunately, I’ll have some time to put that plan together, because next week, I’m attending a work conference in the glamorous destination of Scottsdale, AZ! And given my track record over the past decade, I’m all but guaranteed to have at least a three-hour flight delay in one direction, allowing me plenty of time to map this out.

But I guess there is still one thing that worries me – do you think I’ll be able to get my spoons through airport security?

6 Responses to “Work/Life Balance”

  1. Strode Says:

    You can probably get plastic spoons through. They would have a unique sound. You could also probably be the first person to learn to play the sphorks. You know, those halve spoon half fork things. Good luck, and have fun in AZ.

  2. Yur Cuz Says:

    OK Jen. Keep in mind that Viv is a good friend and assuradly has ‘what’s best for you in mind’ even if she doesn’t completely realize your full capabilities. Don’t be mad at her. I love the multi-tasking – it’s addicitive – however, you have to have balance. The first step is to realize you need and lack it. Good. Now, how about bringing the spoons (newly riveted by your ever-talented dad) on the trip and sit in the park playing – see if you are discovered by anyone/thing other than the pigeons. :) I mean it, really. You never know when/where new talent will be discovered. If you came to visit me you could put a hat on the ground, sit at the train depot and play spoons all day and get paid for it. I know a violin player making $40/hr. doing just that. (Not 8 hours a day!) Music is a great outlet for stress – and I think everyone needs that too. I would vote for keeping the connection to the jug band, and finding something else to slow down on.

  3. Fiorello LaGuardia Says:

    Why am I envisioning a particular scene in the movie….”AIRPLANE?” You know, the one where the nun is playing the guitar and singing to Linda Blair?

  4. Jenny Says:

    Ha! I don’t think that was Linda Blair – wasn’t it the little girl from Love Boat? Anyone know?

    And I love the idea of testing out the sound of plastic sporks. I’m sure I will be a huge hit next week in jug band class!

  5. Fiorello LaGuardia Says:

    Ooops – it *was* Linda Blair, but it was the movie “Airplane 1975.”

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