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Two out of three ain’t bad

Pick two out of three, because you can’t have them all:

1) A full time job

2) An active social life

3) A diligent exercise schedule

At least this is what a friend of mine was theorizing, and I’m prone to agree with her. I guess it’s not a zero sum problem because you could pick one and have half-assed versions of the other two. People certainly work full time, exercise and go out. But don’t they always lament that the exercise cuts into their fun time or that their social engagements eat into their exercise time? It’d be nice if I could just give up the full time job, but I’m not an heiress or an oil tycoon, so work, work, work it is. At least until I figure out how to survive without food, shelter, and new DVDs.

The “pick two out of three” idea actually came from a speaker at a conference I went to a couple years ago. He said you can always get a job is you have at least 2 out of 3 qualities:

1) You’re excellent at what you do

2) You’re always on time

3) You’re really nice.

For instance, you can get away with being late to work if people like you and you rock your job. Or, if you’re a real asshole, people will put up with you if you are good at your work and aren’t late.

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kathryn • March 23, 2006 at 5:11 pm

The being on time thing always puzzles me. A friend once was telling me that she is always around 10-15 mins late to work but she works back late every night. she thought that should balance itself out and, in theory, it should but i’ve noticed in reality there seems to be a moral thing attached to getting to work early.

Even in a flexible work environment, you can work the same hours as the dude who gets in at 7.00 am but they are seen as a better worker.

As to the work, social life, exercise dilemma – how about multitasking? A job that involves exercise or a social life that revolves around the gym? I guess it depends on your lifestyle – if you were a personal trainer at a gym where all your friends work then it wouldn’t be an issue :)


vimilla • March 23, 2006 at 6:51 pm

Amen the seminar guy’s 2 out of 3 with employees. I work with about a dozen people and EVERYONE (including myself) fit into 2 of the 3, but not all three. Slackers, Assholes, and Anal Retentives, Oh My!


Amy • March 23, 2006 at 8:14 pm

How funny. I’m the likeable good worker who will be late to her own funeral.


anji • March 23, 2006 at 8:27 pm

We had a time management seminar guy who said something similar….

He said, you can have two of the three…

You can have it on time…

You can have it cheap…

You can have it with quality…

something like that)…. sometimes you have to sacrifice one over the other.


hopefulloser • March 24, 2006 at 10:40 am

As far as your first three list items. I’ve most definitely givin up my social life. When I’m thin I’ll have no friends to share it with but what-ev, I’ll be thin ;-)

As for the second list. I’m often late. But actually I’ve arranged the schedule where I come in a little later to beat the traffic and leave later in the evening.


little miss ess • March 24, 2006 at 11:10 am

This is rather like my “New York Bermuda Triangle,” where in one of the following three elements is always causing drama:

1. relationship

2. apartment

3. job

Rare is the person who has all three corners of the triangle intact.


hilly • March 25, 2006 at 4:02 pm

Okay wow, I totally agree with your half-assed theory because I am diligent with work, so let’s put that as a strong yes but then my workout regiment and my social life suffer from half-assed syndrome completely.

And about work, hahahaha….since moving here, I get sick a lot; something about the way things are here, but I’ve missed more days of work than one should yet they never fire me, because I have those other two down…interesting!


Kat • September 15, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Hmmm…well I’m in college and I consider that a full-time job. Thank goodness we have gyms so convenient on campus (and “free” too!), but it makes it so much easier to work out for 45 minutes in between a class and take a quick shower.

I guess it all depends on location, is what I’m trying to get at. My social life, work and work-out are all within the same complex (my university), so it makes it pretty easy to manage them all and manage them all really well. I’m sure that if I added a part-time job onto that, it would not work out quite as nicely.

Anyway, just a theory. Like, what if you had a gym in your office? Then you could go there during your lunch break or before you had to work (or after!) It would be like combining two of those options, leaving you just two to pick from. And since you can pick two to begin with, you’re golden! Hahaha…I’m so crazy.

I like this post :D


Natalie • August 17, 2009 at 12:01 am

I am writing this years later but I had to comment because I had come to much this conclusion a couple of days ago. I had decided you can do well at 3 out of 6 (and poorly at the other 3):

1) work/study

2) exercise

3) social life/personal time/relaxing

4) relationship

5) time with kids

6) housework

PastaQueen I was just told about your site a couple of days ago and I’m up to here – your weight loss is so exciting! I am in Australia and need to lose about 20 kg (45 pounds), not as much as you I know but I have been the fat girl in a thin family for so long! And I am very short (5 foot) so I look fatter. I am just starting now. Good luck to us all.


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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