Thursday, June 12, 2008

Balancing Work with Fun is Not Always Easy

A big thanks to Lori Field, who just plugged my blog on her website, Real Beauty Is. Lori describes herself as a social entrepreneur and life coach, and her site is about empowering women to feel good about themselves. You would think that would be something that comes naturally but I know for myself I need constant reminders to do "feel-good" things like scheduling a massage at least once a month (once a week would be even better!), eating healthy foods and going to bed at a reasonable hour. If left to my own devices I'd spend all my time either working or trying to figure out the next steps for my business, which can lead to burn-out.

Checking in with friends and family helps me stay grounded, so I try to make at least 3 non-work-related calls a day. Planning social activities can feel like a job in itself but if I don't tear myself away I become grouchy and negative, which kills my creativity. Plus there's nothing like the exhilaration I feel when viewing a great art exhibit, or walking through a blooming flower patch in Central Park (which is where I took this picture). After these little breaks, my head feels as if someone had gone inside it with a vacuum cleaner and scooped up all the "busy-ness" and cleared some space. It's like taking a mini-vacation from, well, myself.

Last weekend I went to visit my family in Puerto Rico (I would show some pictures except that my niece dropped my Canon Powershot A530 and broke it and all my photos are now stuck inside. I've grown so accustomed to carrying my camera everywhere that I feel lost without it. Once I figure out how to fix/replace it I'll add photos, so check back!). I was only in San Juan for 4 days but I spent a lot of time feeling guilty for leaving my work behind. In my head there's a sort of time clock that's constantly telling me that I'm late, that I'm behind schedule, like that rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. The reality is that yes, I have deadlines, but things are unfolding in my life exactly as they should, which is not necessarily on my schedule. So I need to relax more, and to enjoy my life right now, exactly where it is, because that's all I've got. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow hasn't happened yet. The only thing I can change is the present moment, which will be over in a blink of an eye.

I had a wonderful time in the island. We celebrated my mother's 76th birthday (she looks better than ever!) by taking a trip to the mountains to eat local delicacies, like crispy roast pork, fried green plantains, meat and crab turnovers an lots of other finger-lickin' goodies. I taught my niece and nephews how to use my camera (which ended up costing me but it was worth it), took in the tropical scenery and filled my belly with my favorite foods. The rest of the weekend was just as enjoyable. When I got back I put together a killer presentation for the "D-I-Y Website" workshop I gave on Tuesday (more on that in upcoming posts). My business is alive and well and didn't go down the drain because I put it on hold for a few days. Live and learn!

How do you find work/life balance? Share your thoughts with us!

1 comment:

Katie Skow (Entrepreneur Goddess dot com) said...

You go girl! Glad you learned to enjoy your vacation. Finding balance is tricky but dealing with burnout is worse.