Some random thoughts after my vacation by the lake.
I love lakes.
Swimming is fun. But after you see a 2 foot snapping turtle, it is less fun.
Dark is really dark. It is never dark in the city.
Wifi on vacation is a mixed blessing. But I think it is easier with than without it, especially for me.
Downside of Kindles–you can’t float and read. At least not without worrying about ruining the Kindle.
Upside of Kindles–you never run out of something to read.
Life is good.
Sunday was T – 6 months. 6 months before my birthday. A birthday that ends in a “0″.
6 months used to feel like a long time. Now it flies, FLIES by. So it is time to get the ducks lined up.
What do I want to be different in 6 months? And what am I going to do about it?
I want to get back in shape. Three years ago this fall I ran a half marathon. Two years ago this summer I did spring triathlons. Last year, nothing. I need goals–am thinking about signing up for a couple of 5Ks to get moving. Am not going to talk about losing x pounds or y inches. Just want to be in fierce shape.
Balance. Still trying, still losing. But reframing, realizing that I can’t have traditional 9-5 balance in my life. Need to figure it out, and steal time where I can.
Writing. I am revising my first novel again–getting rid of a character completely, shuffling a couple of scenes. Then back to #2 and continue shopping for an agent.
Reading. Less for work. More for pleasure. Much, much more.
Gratitude. I have a wonderful life. I am grateful for it, and want to keep being more conscious of how blessed I am. No matter what happens, I am blessed.
The only reason I don’t adore fall is that I hate winter with such a passion. If fall led to spring or summer, it would be my favorite season. I love the crisp air. I love the colors. I love the seasonal food. I love the holidays, especially Thanksgiving. But most of all, I love the reboot.
My life is on a semester cycle. I teach, which helps. And my theater world has seasons, many of which either start or end in September. My daytimer starts in September rather than January. And since my birthday is at the end of the summer, fall is a time for me to set goals for the coming year.
This year the reboot hasn’t been automatic. Time is flying by so quickly I feel the need to respect it more. Is that really how I want to spend my time? Can my knees take another running program? How can I carve out more time for writing? Should I try meditation, again? What will make this time different?
How to break down the goals into manageable tasks, and how to be accountable to myself, those are the struggles. But crisp air, delicious apples and great sleeping weather help reframe the struggles a bit. After all, it is a new year.
Last week I was chatting with a colleague. We both work in the arts, though she is a generation younger than I am. She was explaining her devotion to her work/life balance, which includes a strict cap on the number of hours she works, and no email nights or weekends. A part of me wanted to laugh out loud. How was that even possible?
Another colleague and I were chatting about the same subject. This woman is a tad bit older than I. Her theory was that you can only handle two big things in your life. For her, her work is one of them.
As a frame of reference let me tell you that I am having a EAT/PRAY/LOVE aka mid life moment right now. Trying to figure out the work/life balance questions for myself. Also trying to reboot my writing life, get back to the gym, lose those unwanted pounds and leave some room for a social life of sorts. I know, madness.
Given all of this, and my past work/life issues, I am not accepting the two things rule. I just can’t. It would mean I only had room for one more thing (I have a job that definitely counts as one) and since I am a writer, that would mean the rest of it would be on another tier. Or that writing would move down, but that seems like an easy choice (given the current writer’s block I am experiencing) and one that would make me very unhappy in the long run.
But keeping a cap on my work life? Why does that feel subversive to me? Obviously I need to do some work on that, if nothing else. Do I feel as though I am being a traitor to my career? Am I trying to prove something? To whom? Is this a greater challenge for women? Or for women of my generation (or older)? Does the younger generation (how I hate that phrase) have a different POV on these balance issues?
I think there are fewer answers to work/life balance then there are opportunities for conversation. Hopefully my conscious considerations will yield some ideas. Or inspiration. If so, I’ll let you know.