Friday, July 13, 2007

Thoughts of Balance

It’s amazing how much wisdom my friends have. Sometimes I wish it would rub off on me. So, mdog had a very interesting post in late June. From my perspective, I want it both ways. I want to work and work is a big part of my life. I like it like that. I enjoy what I do for a living, aside from current at times. During the school year, I don’t mind the long hours and chaotic schedule of events; I actually kind of thrive on that. I do want my job to validate my life, even though it’s been tempting lately to think about getting a monotonous job that doesn’t require thinking from 8am-5pm. As I say that, I know that I would not be content with such a position, though it seems very tempting. I really just want to have a career where I enjoy my work and can also have a life outside the office. It’s always been very important to me to have a strong work ethic; to be passionate, dedicated, and loyal about all aspects of my life.

I wish I could say, as mdog did, that people are my life. I do not make enough time for people. There are friends in Cincinnati that I haven’t talked to in months and other friends that I used to visit a lot more frequently than I have in the recent past. Too often, I let my work life rule my entire life and don’t allow myself to be with other people.

Mdog’s questions are ones to think about:
“Do I have people I can call up at three in the morning? do I have people that will give me hugs if I need them? do I have people I can share my life with? do I have people that support me? encourage me? walk with me?”

I used to be able to answer yes to a lot of these questions, but not so much anymore. I find it hard to maintain relationships outside of my workplace and that is not healthy. There are some great people who are already in my life, distant, but in my life that I need to reconnect with. How do I find the energy to maintain these existing relationships after a long day at the office or an event? Sometimes to find the energy just to call an old friend is hard and the thought is exhausting. That’s when I feel like I need that alone time. This brings me back to my question about balance. How do I establish that work-life-balance? Maybe it will come with more work experience. I have not yet found my success.


Rachel said...

I don't know what the answer is, but I think you'll figure it out.

Lori said...

Just so you know, you can always call me at 3am!! I know we hardly get to talk or see each other, but that doesn't change the fact that we've known each other forever and you will always be one of my best friends! I have a hard time w/the school/social life balance also. It's hard, but I know we'll manage.

Potchy said...

Maybe some organization would help... like making lists of people you need to catch up with. Make sure that each week you can cross off at least one person's name because you talked with them on the phone for a decent amount of time or sent them a long email catching them up on your life. Maybe it won't seem so exhausting if you know you have the whole week to tackle catching up with just one friend, and go from there??? It won't be as daunting to tackle one person at a time vs if you are thinking about how you need to catch up with 10 and just can't handle it. just a thought... i really don't have the answers, just brainstorming.

Erin said...

Joy, I think a lot of people would say that their friends could call them up at 3AM for support, life-sharing, or whatever, even if their friends don't keep in touch from day-to-day. I'm terrible at keeping in touch. I'm also amazed at how much the blogs and also text messaging have made that better, but I still haven't actually spoken to Miriam in like a month, and even longer for the rest of my friends who moved away. Still, I would be there for any of my friends (including you!), whether I see them every day or haven't seen them in years. And I imagine most of your friends would feel the same.

Erin said...

I also meant to say that I get oddly "shy" around people the longer it's been since I've talked to them. I don't know if I'm unique in that, but I guess I feel like I'll run out of stuff to talk about because there's not a lot of major things going on my my life. :P

mdog said...

i think that being aware of what you want your life to be is the only place to start. how you get to that point is the ongoing process, for all of us.

i have weeks where i'm just burned out, and know that i need to recharge, and so i end up choosing to stay in my apartment all week. and i think that's okay, because i know that at some point i'll have enough energy to be social, and i'll act on it at that point. the tricky part is, it's easy to do the hibernation thing, so i have to combat that when i have the opportunity/energy to be social.

and not everyone has to be like me. i'm glad you enjoy your work! i do like accounting, but i'm not exactly passionate about it. but it works well for me as far as using my skills and fitting into the way i want to live my life.

life is full of choices that YOU are able to make. i am an expert at saying no, so if you need any help with that, just let me know. :) i don't know the answer to your own work-life balance, but i trust you'll get there.

joybird said...

Thanks for all these great comments. I'm glad I know a lot of smart people!