I have a friend who is a an expatriate CPA living in China. He specializes in ex-pat tax returns and also writes and lectures on issues of economics and tax. The former he hates, but it pays the bills. The latter he loves, but it brings in little money. I have to say that I respect his ability to balance the two, support his wife and daughter, and make time for things he enjoys.
I try not to grouse too much about work here. My inability to accomplish the kinds of things I would like is frustrating. But it's the reality given the economic environment and the very deliberately designed IT infrastructure at my company. I don't feel justified in complaining much, though. First of all, I'm employed. That's a big one right there these days. I have a good manager. I work from home most of the time.
Outside of work, I have plenty of leisure time. I spend time in the kitchen cooking, I share this blog with you, I've got lots to read, and oh, yes, I've become a Facebook addict. And with all that, I get in my treadmill time, thanks to the DVD player.
So if I keep my work in perspective, I really have created a balance every bit as much as my expatriate friend.