Living without margins

I’m in the process of becoming trained as a yoga teacher, and the nine-month-long training includes writing a number of papers. I’ll post them here because, well, that’s what I do.

The first two were observations on yamas and niyamas. This is my yama paper, which I wrote earlier this month. 

Today’s to-do list may offer insight into my current relationship with boundaries. It starts by sitting down to write this paper, a task I’ve put off for several days because other projects took higher priority. Once my morning writing is complete, I’ll drive to WorkPlay for my weekly radio segment.

Then the work truly begins.

I know already I have a full day in the office, with two stories to complete, a number of others to edit and planning for the remainder of 2014. At some point, I’m hoping to sneak in an email to a key source for my book. Research on 40 years of music history has taken longer than I anticipated, so I’ve already received an extension for that project. Even so, I’m also holding myself to a 1,000-word-a-day writing goal. I’m saving all teaching-related duties for another day.

And I’ve still got social obligations, too; tonight is the Literacy Council’s Girlfriend Gala, one of my favorite benefits of the year.

It’s not that I’m any busier than anyone else; that seems to be the norm in our society. But I regularly add to those demands by piling on the projects. That’s especially true in my professional life. I often joke that one job isn’t enough.

However, the effects spill into every other area. Lately, I’ve struggled to wake up with my alarm—a battle I suspect has been made more difficult by staring at a screen for extra hours daily as I write a book. That’s made it difficult to find time to spend with my girl friends, and I often fall asleep while hanging out with my boyfriend.

These particular challenges exist for a season, and it’s one that will soon end. But my relationship to brahmacharya, or boundaries, will continue. I expect to see ebb and flow in how much I allow my calendar to rule my life, as I have in my years to date. But I hope to increase my margins, for my own sake and the sake of my relationships.

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