For those keeping track, it’s been a while since I posted here. In fact, my boss is one of those people, and he e-mailed me the other day to ask when I would be announcing the “big news” I’ve promised. It’s coming, still. I’m working on it – when I find the time. In the meantime, things have been going swimmingly at my new blog, Personal PR. I’m also a part of the newly launched Brazen Careerist network. Oh yeah, and I got officially engaged and have been planning a wedding in the meantime. It’s now less than two months away. So needless to say, finding balance in my life has been one of those things that’s been a struggle. So for today, I thought I’d share with you a guest post blog friend Elysa asked me to write as an ABCs for Gen Y project she’s launched to celebrate her blog’s one year anniversary. Enjoy. And more about this site is coming soon. But first, I’ve got to focus on balance:

B is for Balance.

Balance means different things to different people. Some devote their careers to it. Others say it’s a myth. Most just want it, whether or not they think it’s really real. We talk about it a lot – different ideas on how to achieve it in our work, how to make it better in our lives. We talk about balance between work and home. Balance in our finances. Balance in our commitments. Balance in media coverage. Balance in politics. Balance. So it helps to know: what does balance look like?

Balance basically boils down to two things: omission and commission. What we choose to do and what we choose not to do. And both are important. Equally. 

Tonight, for me, this is what balance looked like: watching a Barbara Walters special about the royal family, cuddled under a blanket with my fiance by my side and my laptop casually at hand. Instead of worrying about the floor of the bathroom that flooded the other day (fans are in place, I’ve done all I can for now). Instead of starting to address the hundreds of wedding invitations that came in today and need to go out in a week. It means calling my friend back to chat. It means not obsessing over my blog for one night. And going to bed before midnight.

It means not worrying that there’s no five-step formula for living a balanced life, even though if there were, I would have a lot easier time writing this post.

The truth is, I have a pretty typically busy twentysomething life: I don’t exactly have balance down yet. The best I get some days is go, go, go, crash. Sometimes, that’s the best I can approximate balance. But hey, I’m trying. And I think that’s the key to balance. Working at it.

So tonight, balance is about writing a short post instead of a long one. Smiling in the grocery line, no matter how long it was. Spending time on relationships. Giving myself time to do all the things in the few hours after work that make my life worth working for. Living my life. Being present in it.

Give yourself permission to find your balance. And then look for it. Wherever in the wild blue that takes you.

Well, to say it’s been a crazy week would be an understatement. Just getting through real life was tough enough, so time for blogging was more than out of the question. I’ve wanted to write. What about, you ask? Well, I don’t have much time to delve deep, so here are three mini posts I would have blogged if I’d had time. Enjoy!  

1. Why Not To Dare Monday, No Matter How Great a Week You Had Previously
Your house gets broken into. Goodbye, week. Goodbye, iPod. Hello, endless phone calls.

2. What to Do When Your Boss Gets Mad About Something Minor Because He’s Had a Stressful Week And You’ve Had the Week from Hell
Shut up at the first sign of annoyance and back slowly out of the office. Avoid total meltdown at all costs. At this point, your sanity is more important than the fact that he’s upset and working on next year’s budget. Hopefully, your work will stand for itself and he’ll remember how many times you’ve come through this year.

3. How to Avoid Being at Mandatory Evening Board Meetings When You Have To Get Up at 5 A.M. to Raise Money For Charity and Already Met at a 3-Hour Lunch the Day Before
Don’t do what I did (go, then try to duck out early) unless you to fall asleep at midnight. Do this instead: Say no. Don’t RSVP. They will have more than enough brains to brainstorm themselves into oblivion. You, however, may be in danger of losing yours.

 

No matter how hard you try, sometimes life and work just collide, and there’s nothing you can do about it. When this happens, it’s best to just quit worrying about the things you can’t control. Focus on what you can. Prioritize what’s important. Be responsible to do your part, and know you will get through it.

The Power of Pause

November 25, 2007

This weekend, I didn’t get all those posts written like I’d hoped. I didn’t get the garage cleaned or find time to finish my Christmas shopping. I didn’t rake up the leaves or do any yard work. I didn’t do a lot of things I planned on.

Instead, I made sugar cookies and put up my Christmas tree with my family. I went to visit my grandparents and played a very intense game of Risk for four hours only to call a draw. I learned to play Farkle when my boyfriend taught it to – everyone, including me, my parents, grandparents, brother, sister, and their significant others. I cooked a great big pot of soup and hand made about $500’s worth of jewelry for a Christmas charity fundraiser. I ate Sunday brunch at a new hole in the wall Brazilian cafe.

I took time out from my to-do lists, my goals, my constant go. And it was wonderful.

My only complaint is that I didn’t give in to it fully until late in the game. And mostly, that means I worried for a long time about all those other things I wasn’t getting done.

But here I am, at the last 30 minutes of my holiday weekend, thinking how it was not at all what I planned but at the same time just what I needed. A bit of a pause from the normal.

Because there’s power in pause. It gives clarity, retrains focus onto what really matters, and gives you energy and excitement. So, if you haven’t already in the past few days, give yourself permission to relax, to reflect, to marinate in all the great things of life . . .  to pause.

Get ready, Monday. Here I come.