Monday, April 19, 2010

Things fall apart. It's scientific.

I sat down at the computer to write this post two hours ago. I think that sort of proves my point.

Here's where I was going to start:

I've been thinking a lot lately about the idea of a work/ life balance. The first thing I decided, is that I hate the phrase "work/ life balance." It conjures in my mind a series of scales in equipoise, with Writing in this one, and Day Job work (being a professor) in that. Over here is Sleep, and that one contains Doing Things What are Fun.

Of course, I have already forgotten to include things like eating, walking the dog, taking a shower.

So no. My life is not balanced. I cannot come up with a schedule that will balance my life, because I hate schedules. They make me really, seriously pissy. So no "write for two hours, then one hour of research, then three hours of packing" for me. No, what I need, like Teresa Jusino, is a way to keep my ideas from killing me. (Or a TARDIS.)

Because even on a normal day, there is so much I want to do. And the big problem, is that my life is not normal right now. Not even close. I am moving across the country in approximately a month. This September, I am starting a new job. I cannot put my life and my work into a series of scales and make it balance because someone keeps coming along and adjusting the mechanism.

I do not have a work/ life balance. I have a work/ life evolution.

It has taken me a really long time to begin to come to grips with the idea that, at the end of the day, the only one who has to like the way my life looks is me. (And the "to begin" is not verbal hesitation. It is exactly what I mean. I am, to borrow Cat Valente's classification, a Fat Buddha who feels guilty when she doesn't behave like a Skinny Buddha. I'm working on the guilt thing.) So I've been trying to  think seriously about what I want my life to look like, and what I need to do to make sure that it does. To know what I want, and to be flexible about the way that I get there. To realize that it's okay that I am lucky enough to be doing what I love, and that just because I enjoy doing something doesn't mean it is not work, and that maybe I need a break from it. (And that there is a difference between giving my brain a break and being lazy, and that the first one is actually good.)

Things happen. Schedules go awry. There are unexpected good and bad things that just pop up. Things may fall apart. I'm trying not to.

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