Hello again: Work / Life Balance

I’ll skip the part where I list all the reasons excuses for why I have posted in a while. I’ll also accept your forgiveness for my absence and my learning to write again. My paucity in posts could essentially be boiled down into one reason: a lack of work / life balance. This blog was never work but more about life; it lost out when I took on more responsibilities at work. Over the past month, I have recognized the problem and am taking necessary steps to resolve the issue.

The past year I have become immersed in work. This is due, but not limited, to an excitement about the possibilities, an inability to say no, an avoidance of other potential problems in my life and a lack of a fixed schedule. Being so involved in work meant losing out on relationships, events and most of the enjoyment that came along with them. Don’t get me wrong, I was still enjoying work but unhealthily neglecting everything else; even to the point of beginning to resent the work.

Recently, I have take a few steps to remedy this. Recognizing the problem is a big part of resolution, so I am on the right track. I have also begun meeting with a mentor, that understands the work that I do. He had some good advice regarding some beginning steps to take.

  1. Do not be an item on somebody else’s to do list. I would reply to texts, phone calls, and emails immediately, regardless of the urgency, time or day. One could argue that I was almost waiting for the next one to come through. Moving forward: I will have a certain time of day where I check and reply to emails. I will update my settings to eliminate every email from coming to my phone will put my phone away at night, only responding to personal (non-work) calls and texts. These two actions are combined with the new expectations and boundaries I will set with colleagues and clients.
  2. Take some time for yourself. I did not have a regular day off; a day that I could take care of me, relax, explore, learn or enjoy. I plan to take at least one day a week and also capitalize on the time I have during the summer.
  3. Set a schedule. I had failed to define a daily schedule. So I was flexible, which is good (yes, very go with the flow), but it also allowed me to fall victim to the flow. It didn’t give me any reason to say no – which meant I was overeager and vulnerable to overuse. My schedule will be another post altogether but involves: running, coffee, writing, learning, community, etc.
  4. Live with a Growth Mindset. In some aspects of life, I felt I was open to change or development. With others, I was closed off, thinking it is what it is. This topic is also post in and of itself. I look to continue to nurture that mindset and a “not yet” mentality.

An additional bonus is that for my job next year, I will be at set location so my vehicle will no longer be a storage unit. It will be nice to have my vehicle and my life back.

Looking forward to finding that balance.

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miscellaneous monday: thanksgiving “break”

Thanksgiving to me is a time to celebrate the things I am thankful for. Naturally, this will vary year to year but there are some standards. Family, friends, food, football and fun are five of my standards; this year especially.

The family I enjoyed this season was on two separate occasions. My nephew Josh invited me to his pre-school’s thanksgiving lunch, an event in which I did Instagram. I enjoyed this invitation and secretly, until now of course, was happy he preferred my participation to that of his mom and dad. The second family edition for me this year was at my dad’s house in Warren, AR. Lindsey and my brother Robert rode up with me; additionally, Robert pointed out that this was his and my first long road trip. Lindsey had never been to Arkansas, seen the country life, or shot a gun before; all three were remedied on this trip. I was definitely happy to have her there and am pleased to announce that she has recovered from her culture shock.

Friends-givings are becoming more and more popular these days. Or maybe now that I am older, they are becoming more familiar to me. I met up with about two dozen friends this season, some that I have met more recently mixed with others I’ve known for a couple years. We passed around a bottle of champagne to cheers the things we were thankful for: our friendships, fellowships, fun, Austin, and music were among the top mentions. The event began around 2 p.m. that Saturday and didn’t wrap up until 2 a.m. the next day.

The food at both family and friend events was incredible. I was also able to enjoy Good Dog, Liberty Kitchen, and Onion Creek, all of Houston.

The past two weekends have featured some amazing football games. Saban’s poor coaching decision aside, Auburn’s last minute victory over Alabama was incredible. Whereas I agree with Michigan going for two. The NFL is finally seeing some good match-ups as well: Tom Brady come-backs, Peyton Manning, the Chiefs, and tonight’s Monday Night Football – Saints vs. Seahawks game.

Finally, the fun!! Anytime I get together with my family, whether my mom’s side with sisters and cousins or my dad’s with all my brother, we find a way – even create our own way sometimes – to have fun. Lindsey and I also enjoyed the company of a couple friends over this past weekend. We went to a show at Stereo Live in Houston for Paul Van Dyke on Friday and seemed to lose time as the night faded into the morning. We even met some new friends in the heights and have plans to continue the fun.

I love this time of year, not because of the cooler temps or Christmas lights, Holiday giving or receiving but because of the love and fun shared with others.