That is where the balance part comes in. I have to balance tomorrow-work, treatment plan, my grief with today-spending time with Mav, making sure he is eating, taking his herbs, getting rest etc. I have to balance Mav’s needs with the needs of my other dogs. I have to balance Michael’s needs with those of the dogs. I have to balance my needs with those of the family and of work. To be honest I feel like I have been practicing a careful balancing act for a long time. Only now, if I slack off in the area of my family I feel guilty.
Emotions are a funny fickle thing. It’s almost like they are an alien in my body. My logic tells me one thing and then my emotions tell me something else. I know I should not feel guilty for working-I do need money to pay the mortgage and feed my dogs etc. But, I do feel guilty when I work 12 hours in the summer heat and have nothing left to give to my family when I get home. I feel a little guilty right now. I could be outside with my boys playing and I am inside writing this blog so that it can go in the newsletter that needs to be done by the end of the week.
So, how do I balance today with tomorrow and control my guilt in the area of work? I plan for the future but instead of planning a year out I might plan for a few months. When I am at work I focus on that but when I am not working I focus on my family. This also means evaluating how effective I am at work. If I am going to take time away from my family it will not be wasted on small classes or students who aren’t committed to working with their dogs. It means I will set better boundaries of “work” time and “life” time. This will be the hardest for me. Because I work from home it is easy to do just a little work and then 3 hours are gone and I have not honored my time off. It means trusting that working only 40-50 hours a week is enough. That I can work smarter and not harder.
I so often find myself saying “yes” to students and “no” to myself and my family. That is about to change. I will honor my time off and my family. I will give 100% of myself to my students when I am working and 100% of myself to my family when I am off.
I am trusting that my students will understand when I don’t respond right away to calls or emails. I hope they understand when I am booked and can’t see them right away. I trust that they will ask “how are you doing?” at a time that is appropriate so that I can maintain my focus on work. I am trusting Sharon to handle more so that I may focus elsewhere.
I wish I was independently wealthy and could just stop working and live every moment with my husband and dogs but I am not. So, I will have to balance it all.
"Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them --work, family, health, friends and spirit and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls -- family, health friends and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life."
~Brian Dyson, former vice chairman and COO of Coca-Cola.”