Tonight I spent three hours working on my book. Tomorrow I’ll grade this finish grading my students’ papers and begin the last month of the semester. Thursday evening I’ll attend a party to benefit one of my favorite nonprofits. This weekend I’ll spend 20-plus hours in yoga teacher training. And sometime, someday soon, I’ll rest.
I’m fortunate to be at a point in life when I get to delve into so many passions in so many different ways. I love teaching, writing, editing, volunteering and mentoring.
I also know this season won’t last forever. As it is, I try not to commit to anything unless I’m passionate about it. In the past, that’s meant saying no to some very good things in order to devote my attention to the issues that are most important to me. Now, that also requires me to consider everything on my plate and whether it’s an activity I should dedicate time to for a season or indefinitely.
As I age, I also regularly reflect on my goals and priorities. I have a number of professional aims, and they’ve been adjusted through the years as I cross them off the list. (Yes, I keep an actual list. I doubt you’re surprised.) But my greatest priority isn’t my work, satisfying and necessary (girl’s gotta eat!) as it is. It’s more important to me to love well and devote my attention to those who I hold closest.
Perfect balance is an illusion, but I’m striving to dedicate the best of me to those people. That’s why I often disconnect from social media on the weekends and confine my freelance work to the week nights when possible. It’s also why I am beginning to, again, examine my commitments and determine which I may need to step away from.
I’m especially aware of that search for equilibrium when deadlines draw closer and my calendar fills with writing projects. Even when I have to settle for a carefully scheduled brunch or a short phone call between appointments, I must regularly remind myself that it’s the people, not the activities, that matter most.