Balancing work and life and everything in between

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By Lawrence Jaeger, 3D & Motion Graphic Artist

I’ve been playing drums for exactly two thirds of my life. I started when I was eight and fell deeply in love with it. It has always been my dream to play drums for a living. So when I was 12 I started a band. We played metal and held it together for about seven years, until the scene in Cape Town took a bit of a dive and our lead guitarist began playing for Cape Town’s roots reggae giants, 7th Son. It was at about that time that the band decided to call it a day. A few months ago our guitarists came to me with a new project they had been working on. Once I heard the first tune I was blown away and I began playing drums for the project. Four more members joined and we became Grassy Spark.

This was all taking place while we were at school studying and now, for the last three years, working. I got a job at Hellocomputer as a 3D & Motion Graphic artist. As Grassy Spark grew, so did the shows and tours. This can become a problem due to allocated leave for the year. I am fortunate enough to have very understanding bosses/HOD’s and work in a solid team! When I am in the office however, I need to be giving it my all. I work my absolute hardest and do whatever it is I need to do to get the job done. I make sure I work neatly, following the team’s processes. So when I’m on the road and the guys need to render out a clip, or make changes to a video, they can do so easily and without much hassle. It is a challenge holding a job in an ad agency while trying to make a success out of your band, but I am fortunate enough to love both my jobs. I get to work on videos for high end clients, and currently we are about to launch our site for Hellomotion, the 3D and Motion part of Hellocomputer and in-between I get to go see parts of the country I would never have seen.

The balancing part of this article isn’t really learning how to balance I guess. To do that you should learn to ride a unicycle.

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So how do you keep it together when you have an unbalanced life?

Work hard

Working in an agency is hard enough. There are a lot of late nights and early mornings and sacrifices. If you are in a band and also holding a job, just make sure you keep focused on what you want. The same applies to any other aspect of your life. If you want it badly enough you’ll do whatever you need to. My life consists of work and Grassy Spark. When I’m not at work I’m probably doing something that pushes the band that little bit closer.

Don’t take life too seriously

It’s all about letting go and having fun sometimes. If you can’t enjoy what you are doing, you will always be tired, bored, over it and unhappy. You have to find that one thing that keeps you going. Or a number of little things. However you need to do it, just remember: life isn’t about being stressed, unhappy and working till 3am every morning just to pay the bills. It is about understanding what you want from life and making that happen.

Be passionate

Being passionate about what you do is key to happiness and gaining happiness from work, life and everything you do. If you can’t find a single thing about your job that sets you on fire, do something else. Balancing your life and your work cannot be a chore, or it will never be worth it, especially if you are balancing a lot of stuff like I am.

In closing, you’ll probably be quite tired. But it’s all worth it! When you finish a rad piece of work and are super proud of it or you’ve just come off stage at 2am and are drenched and exhausted, the progress you see makes it all worth it. It kind of makes you forget about the fact that you are tired and it keeps you focused on what’s important… Avocado Pears.