Daily Schedule

As a part of my efforts to improve work / life balance, a schedule is essential. I jotted down a list of some the things that I need in my daily schedule in order to be successful at work and in life. Currently, the daily schedule looks like a summer camp for of mindfulness and self-improvement. I have decided not to restrict myself to allotted times, rather granting some wiggle room (this freedom allows my creativity and productivity to thrive).

Running / Fitness 

Days are better for me when I run. It jumpstarts my day, gets my blood flowing; it challenges me yet calms me. Beginning the day with the run, I have accomplished something the the rest of the day cannot take away from. During runs, I am able to process thoughts, experience the outdoors, and stay in strong physical shape. The fitness is listed as some days will fall under a recovery day, those days will include yoga, core strengthening, swimming or cycling.

Writing

My self-awareness is higher, mindfulness more abundant when I write. With the practice of writing, I include a few moments of meditation. I reflect and plan, note expectations and experiences, challenges and successes; as well as potential places for improvement. Sometimes is a reflective journal entry, other times it becomes more of an essay on life or a testimony about certain elements within my life.

Coffee

Over the past several years, coffee has become a staple. It is more than just a shot of caffeine for me; I truly enjoy the flavors that different coffee’s provide. Though Cuvee Coffee is my absolute favorite, I like finding new coffee’s – especially when I travel.

Community

We all need people. Funny enough, I was recently reminded of this through the Lego Batman movie. Granted I watched it at a time when there was a great shift in what I thought I knew regarding my future. The themes that rang true were family, friends, and Not-going-it -alone. Even though each of us may be strong as individuals we are stronger together. Often times. experiencing places, things or events with others adds a significant amount of value to that moment.

Sports

With a career in youth soccer development, sports are a piece of my everyday life. I enjoy watching most sports and keep up with the sport world. Of course, it is most enjoyable when I get to play as well.

Learning

Currently, learning some things about myself, as individual (outside of a relationship). I look to learn something new daily – whether it pertain to the world, nutrition, the Spanish language, or the driver’s education course which I am enrolled.

Outdoors 

Nature. It does so many good things for the soul. Beyond breathing fresh (for the most part) air, sunshine, water, greenery and touching the actually earth  – each of these appeal to the senses and enhance life.

Relaxation

Any or all of these activities or items can be combined. After two weeks with this schedule, only the writing portion has be solitary (or just coupled with coffee). This was necessary at the time; now that I share some of that with you, it falls under community.

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.

where are you going, where have you been

I stole the title of Joyce Carol Oates’ beautiful short story to write a little about transition. The past three weeks I have been on a whirlwind of many mini-travels. Which may sound more exciting than the actual relaxing atmosphere they presented. During my trips to Arkansas, back to Texas, Florida, Arkansas again, Texas, then to North Carolina and finally back to Texas, I did some writing and reading, experienced some new places and feelings but neglected to report them here.

The first trip was to Arkansas for one of my youngest brothers’, Daniel, college graduation. I am proud of his journey into adulthood, which is maybe more of a fatherly or grandfatherly thing to say. My brothers and my sisters have all made me proud in their own way. Honestly, no two of them have shared a reason for me to think highly of them. Their uniqueness surely spawns from my unique upbringing, our one-of-a-kind relationships. 

The back to Texas portions of my trip were simply to regroup, repack, and reset in order to set out again. 

The Florida trip was to meet up my mom and step-dad, Flip. For mom’s 60th birthday, she would stop along the way at sewing and quilting shops. She has surely found her niche. The quilts in my living room are regularly enjoyed by roommates and myself. I enjoyed playing three rounds of golf with Flip, including twice at the beautiful yet challenging course at Magnolia Landing. These Florida courses played host to a number of amazing birds and few alligators. 

From Florida we drove, along scenic highways and busy interstates, back up to Arkansas. We made in time for a family Christmas that featured more children than ever. Even though we were missing a couple of the cast, we managed to have a good time catching up and may have begun a new tradition of driving to Haynesville, LA for a Rita or Pina Colada. I look forward to seeing everyone again at the end of January. 

The final portion of my trip, after another reset in Austin of course, was out to Charlotte, NC to spend Christmas with Lindsey and her family. Everyone has their own Holiday traditions, it was good to see Lindsey enjoying hers with her family. One of the things I personally liked best was that everyone put a little something in everyone else’s stocking. A manageable task since there were only 5 of them. 

That is where I have been, exploring without reporting. Where I am going constitutes keeping a better record of such travels as they occur. As I use the turn of the calendar to regroup, repack and reset, I also hope to be better about making sure these people in my life know how much I love them.