When eating becomes an inconvenience is when I know that my balance between work (in this case, school) and life (non-school related activities) has fallen too far towards the work side. As the new semester gets underway, I can really feel the effects of "not enough time in the day." I am still searching for an effective time management strategy that accommodates both the effort needed to reach a quality of work that I feel is appropriate, but also allow for personal time in the areas of exercising, cooking, friends and most importantly, family. On one hand, I am so grateful and excited to have found an area of work that I want to devote so much time to; but on the other, I don't want it to come at the detriment of my physical health and relationships.
Paralleling this struggle of work-life, I am appropriately reading "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown. I have mentioned this in an earlier post, but I must talk about it again because of how relevant it has become in addressing very personal aspects that affect my work and contribute to throwing off the balance between work and life. First is when Brown quotes Lynn Twist on her thoughts about scarcity, Twist says, "We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don't have enough of [...] we're already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something [...] our minds race with a litany of what we didn't get, or didn't get done, that day [...] What begins as a simple expression of the hurried life, or even the challenged life, grows into the great justification for an unfulfilled life." This passage was a big eye-opener for me. It was exactly what I had been (and still am) experiencing as things fall out of balance. My awareness of these types of thoughts in my head has already increased and I am consciously trying to change these feelings as they come. One key insight that Brown offers is that "what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared. And, without comparison, concepts like ahead or behind or best or worst lose their meaning." I am striving to remain aware of my thoughts of inadequacy and comparison (and subsequent actions) and hope to continue to use Brown's words as inspiration and possibly as an effective time management strategy when balancing work and life.