Monday, May 01, 2006

More musings on a balanced life

Hadas confessed on her blog last Friday that she’d not made outstanding efforts at work since she’d been so focused on school and other things. I believe, and actually hope, that most of us are in similar situations. I certainly have not gone above and beyond in my job this past year. I do my job, I do it well, and occasionally do something that makes people take notice (in a good way), but it’s not generally for anything HUGE. I’d like to say it’s because I am working smart, not hard, but that’s not accurate. I simply have not had the energy or desire to put in 110% at work while I am also going to school at night and trying to maintain some semblance of a home life. It's nice to operate on cruise control, to some extent. A part of me wishes I was a person that had the kind of drive, energy and passion to exel at everything. I’m not, at least, not now, and not at what I am doing now. I believe I may some day find that passion, but I know when I do, my commitment to something else will wane. I can’t keep several fires all burning on high heat, and truthfully, don’t think I want to, at least, not on anything other than a theoretic level. Sounds like a recipe for burn-out. Still....on some level, don't we feel we have to sometimes?

Funny, this somewhat warped perspective so many of us seem to share (and the fact I see it as warped is an indication of mental health, I believe). Is it an over-achiever thing, a woman thing, a generational thing…and gosh, how will I deal with it if I cannot label it? Many people look at those of us who are working and going to law school at night, and they think we are amazing. Add in kids and it’s like we’re doing something superhuman. For most of us actually doing it, it’s just life, and we’re wondering how the heck to cram something else in, like law review or a clerkship, or exercise. Then, maybe we realize we are not achieving enough in one of our areas of like – work, home – and step up that involvement a notch. We look for a new job, or a new project to manage, or maybe we decide to have a child, or another child. Who is it we are trying to impress and when will it be enough? My guess is: Ourselves and Never. I think many of us are over the need to impress others. We're self-centered enough that we're really trying to impress the one who always urges us to achieve just a little bit more - ourselves. (I will admit I may be generalizing here, but my guess is, some of you are still with me.)

One direction of thought is that nothing will ever change about that equation until we change our own perspectives - allow whatever we are doing to be good enough, seek balance and be satisfied.


Maybe never being quite satisfied is part of the journey – what keeps the journey going. Maybe the constant push-pull/up-down of not being in balance actually creates the energy of movement. I’m almost never less satisfied than following a long stretch when I’ve allowed myself to become complacent. Living with and being happy with the status quo is what some people desperately seek. They like the inertia of balance. All year, I've talked about balance, but I think the reality is, I prefer jumping on one end of the teeter totter, watching stuff fly off the other end, and then running up the board to see what happens.

1 comment:

Casey said...

"...reality is, I prefer jumping on one end of the teeter totter, watching stuff fly off the other end, and then running up the board to see what happens. "

Yep - I think that is what you prefer. But that's just me.... *small smile*