October 25, 2008

Waking Up

Arvay's self-reflection post put me in an inquisitive frame of mind.

Past BT floated around doing much of whatever felt right at the time and through a great stroke of luck, eventually found herself to current BT's position -- on her 4th career and in a wonderful, loving relationship. It's a great fit for the wacky path she took, but not one that anyone could have planned in advance by looking at past BT.

Future BT is getting many of the benefits of my current life. I regularly sacrifice free time, and take on stress and frustration in the career world for the long-term benefits I hope the amazing training, experience, and financial trade-offs in my current job will provide in the future. When work is crazy, these sacrifices bleed over into my personal life, and many times require E to make sacrifices as well.

In general, I try very hard to force current BT to be balanced. To look at the sacrifices I am making for the current and future intellectual stimulation and financial benefits of my job and to keep them in check against the other sources of pleasure in my life: my relationship with E, exercise, extended family, social life, food, reading, travel, etc.

October has been the slowest month I've had at work since starting as a neophyte lawyer. I've cooked more and spent more quality time with E. I've payed more attention to the garden. I visited my grandmother, saw my sister, and spoken to my mother and brother more. It's been a nice change and it's made me wonder if I could somehow find a way to meet more of my goals at the same time even when work is busy.

Generally, I love my job and feel very lucky to have a career that is intellectually stimulating, requires me to learn new things every day, and allows me to feel useful and helpful. In fact, I think I love it even more when it is crushing and overwhelming than I do when it is less intense. When it is less intense, I have time to think about the other things I also enjoy and could be doing with my time. When it is insane, there is no time to do anything but try to stay afloat.

This morning, as I woke before my alarm to go out for my long run with B, I couldn't help but notice that I didn't wake before my alarm for my runs before work any day this week. Today's activities (long run with a friend, making waffles and eggs and enjoying them with E, chores at home with E, and a friend's wedding) inspired me to wake, relaxed and ready for my day to begin, without any reminder. My day-to-day during the work-week life, however, often finds me in the morning with my alarm ringing, wishing I could just sleep-in, run later, spend less time at the office, and come home earlier.

I've been pretty good at keeping this desire at bay this month, and forcing myself to get up, but Arvay's post reminded me *why* I fight the desire to be lazy. I, too, feel like I owe my future self -- I owe my future self a healthy body, good relationships with people I care about, fun memories, and some semblance of financial stability. In order to give her these things, I have to make efforts to live life today with all of my long term goals in mind.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, Arvay's post was a nice reminder of why I sometimes fall out of balance, and why it's okay. It's because I care about future BT. What a positive way to see it.

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