Reflection: It can be tempting (especially if you like things neat and tidy) to compartmentalize life, assigning each role its own box and time slot. Work is work. Vacation is vacation. Play is…well, hard to come by.
In today’s world, it’s next to impossible to contain life this way. It’s far more likely that we will be able to make time for more of the things we care about if we allow them to rub shoulders with each other – overlapping in the natural messiness and flow of life.
On this morning’s walk (which is, by the way, when I get some of my best ideas for Pause messages) I was thinking back to some of the combos that have danced their way through my life.
When our girls played outdoor soccer, I used to alternate visiting in my lawn chair on the sidelines with walking around the perimeter of the field while the game played on. Exercising, socializing, and supporting my daughters in one fell swoop.
For several summers, the girls took swimming lessons at an outdoor pool. While they swam, I caught up on my business reading while catching a few rays myself.
Over the years, I’ve invited my mom and my daughters to accompany me on business road trips. One on one chat time is precious; and it sure beats hearing the same tired radio newscast over and over again. Now that I have a grandson in Calgary, I try to route travel to or from my Alberta speaking engagements through that city to catch time with the little guy.
These days, my paints and sketchbook travel with me. Sketching makes time on the road more enjoyable and flight delays more bearable. Even though life may be busy with work, I still have time for art.
Action: There are times to turn off the biz world, and be only with family. There are times to be single mindedly focused on business while letting other roles cool their hoofies on the sidelines. And, there are times to encourage the bits and pieces of our lives to mix and mingle.
Look for ways to create a few more renewal combos in your world. In the face of the daily grind: add experiences that lift your spirits, mix in activities that renew your energy, and take actions that strengthen your relationships.
Quote Of The Week:
Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony. – Thomas Merton
Resource Of The Week: Here are a couple of links to a few more ideas on work-life challenges.
- Dip into Mike Gamson’s article on Ways To Achieve Work/Life Harmony.
- Check out Jen Uscher’s article. I like her subtitle: Beat burnout by making more time for the activities and people that matter most to you.
Readers Write: In response to last week’s message, Tune Out To Tune In, Pause reader JG writes:
I like the idea of the ‘no ear buds’ concept…just stillness and quiet. I live in an acreage area and I would often plug in the ear buds and head out for my walk believing I was fully present and savoring what was around me. It wasn’t until I took the ear buds out that I realized I wasn’t in the quiet place of myself. For the first time I saw and heard what I had been missing. Now I don’t even think to take the ear buds and I come back from my walks far more refreshed and centered.