Balance is sometimes elusive. It seems that just when you think your world is under control and you can take a breath, something comes along and upsets your plans and things go off kilter, even if just for a little bit. Two things just happened in my world that upset the balance that I’d been keeping together with both hands. Neither of them are bad things – both of them are pretty great in fact. It’s simply a matter of finding a way to balance everything.
A friend of mine that I used to work with at a pub that closed down decided to reopen the place and asked me to help out. Two other friends are trying to convince me to plan another nonprofit and Web 2.0 event. I’m excited about both of the opportunities, but I have two jobs already, I’m trying to get a photography show together, maintain some semblance of a social life, and volunteer a little bit more on the weekends.
So, what’s an enterprising AmeriCorps member to do?
There’s been a lot of self-evaluation over the past few days, that’s for sure. I’ve had to look at not only what I’m going to be able to do for my friends and how much I’ll be able to work, but how much I’ll be able to handle working. It’s about balancing finances against being able to still go into my jobs happily rather than dragging myself in and hating all of them. My AmeriCorps term means too much to me to allow that to happen, and I know that I’ll need to be able to take time for myself, too. I know that I won’t be as effective at any of my jobs if I have to spread myself between three different ones. A balance needs to be found between my working world and the rest of my life. Sacrificing one for the other will only be tenable for a few months at best.
As for finding the balance between all of the things I want to do to help develop the different aspects of my professional life, I’m still looking for the magical balance point that lets everything I want to do happen. I’ve found that the best thing to help find that point is to take a step back from everything to just take quality time for myself. The importance is the quality of the time, spending time with a good book, spending time with friends, or simply laying back in the park and marveling at just how blue the sky is.
Taking the time to step back really helps me to see how to better manage my life, and it doesn’t have to be an 18,000 km step back.