Work-Life-Creative balance … and resources!


I was inspired to write a little about work-life balance because of something my manager sent out to the team last week.

It was his newsletter from David Irvine, titled Quantity or quality of life, what really matters?

In the article, David recommends the following:

  • Relax, stop entering data in the computer, and take a deep breath;
  • S-l-o-w d-o-w-n long enough to actually look into the eyes of a person you care about and experience the love between you;
  • Smile at a stranger;
  • Stop and let the beauty and magnificence of a plant in your office be a part of your awareness;
  • Offer a word of acknowledgement and encouragement to a colleague;
  • Do something that leaves you nourished: have a hot bath; go for a walk in a part of nature that you enjoy; spend time with a good friend;
  • Let a child make you laugh;
  • Stop and watch the sun go down behind the hill and experience, with awe and gratitude, the beauty and wonder that surrounds you.

Today, Julie Czerneda sent this wonderful video my way:

It got me thinking …

When I lived in Windsor, the starlings that lived in the Ambassador Bridge were, quite frankly, a nuisance.  When I saw how they flew in murmurations though, I was touched and inspired to write a poem about it.

Sometimes all you need is a moment of beauty to give you pause, and help reprioritize your life.

Last week, Phil and I lost our internet service.  No email, blogging, or other social media for an entire week.  My initial reaction was panic, but then I recognized the crisis for the gift it was and took an unplanned, but very welcome SoMe fast.

Years ago, I just worked, and worked part time at that.  I fit my writing in when I could (which wasn’t often, because I wasn’t a writer then, I just thought I was).  Then the day came when I had the epiphany, and I worked the day job, then came home and wrote.  Where did I find the time?  I realized what was important to me and found the time for it.  I reprioritized.

When I became a trainer, not much changed, until another epiphany, this time at work, led me to the world of informal learning and social learning.  It was another kind of reordering in my life.  I found the time at work not only to do my job, but to feed my ravenous appetite for knowledge.  It’s paid great dividends for me: Service Excellence Award and an acting position as a Training Coordinator among other, less formal forms of recognition for my hard work.

Last fall, when I first started blogging and building my platform, then joined Author Salon and started critiquing my butt off, I started to falter.  I was doing too much again.  The three to four hours a night I used to devote purely to my writing was suddenly spent curating content, blogging, critiquing, and doing anything but working on my novel.

In the month of May, I hardly spent any time writing at all.  Broke my heart in all kinds of ways.

Last week, when we lost service, I wrote.  I reconnected with my work in a way that I hadn’t been able to for months.  I realized where my priorities should be.

So now I’m back working seven and a half hour days, building the platform at night, and yes, writing.  It’s not perfect yet.  Two hours of tonight’s allotment has already disappeared, but now I see where the fulcrum is.  Now I can learn how to find my balance again.

All I needed was a good “claque western” as the Northern Ontario French say 🙂

How do you keep your work-life balance?  Do you?  What challenges have you faced and have you found a workaround or kluge?

Now for the resources:

I’m a big fan of Cammy Bean of Kineo too, and gleaned a handful of wonderful resources courtesy of her blog (which I subscribe to):

Until next week, the Learning Mutt is signing off 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Work-Life-Creative balance … and resources!

  1. Melanie: I enjoyed the simple, clear, well-focused language you used throughout. Your examples of finding a balance between the beauties of life and the rigors of work, or should I say des rigeurs du travail, were nicele blended. In each example, you kept coming back to your own work habits and your constant need to reprioritize one’s goals in life. I could not agree more. I tend to see things on a more spiritual level, such that, when things don’t go the way I planned or intended for them to go, I chalk it up to God’s will. God wills for my success, as I know hedoes for yours. Well done. Tres bien!

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  2. I like to think of it not as work/life balance, but just life. As I move through the day what is truly important to me, to the people I love, to my community. I’ve found when I lose clarity about what’s important, I let myself get swept up into the vortex of busy-ness. Great post Melanie.

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