Back in May of this year, I got into a discussion on the SVMoms blog with the author of a post called, "Making Peace with Work". Lately, I've been thinking about a part of that discussion that I think is really meaningful.
I don't want to really even try to explain the whole position that I was coming from, because it looks batty, and for the most part, it's my story, and I'm sticking to it (and maybe it's private and I'm not going to tell you, but I digress....) But, there is one very important theme, that I really, really aspire to absorb.
Maybe there is a term for it. If there is, I don't know it. But basically, I want to stop being a two headed monster. I want alignment. I *think*, if I can get alignment between what I want, and the actions I take: First, I will be happier. Second, I will have more traction, power and success.
When I look back on my life, I see myself, on so, so many occasions, doing things that weren't really consistent with what I wanted. I knew what I wanted, but for a variety of reasons, on a very regular basis, my actions did not support what I wanted. They did not support my values or goals.
I wanted to live in Chicago. Instead, I moved to California.
I wanted to date a particular guy. Instead, I dated someone else.
I wanted to study art and architecture. Instead, I studied mechanical engineering.
So... I don't know where the balance is, necessarily. It's important to do what's right, to sacrifice some immediate "happiness" for future security, etc. That's valid. But when is it too much?
Over time, I think I found myself building up some level of resentment -- because I was spending most of my time engaged in activities that I didn't enjoy.
This brings me to the present day, and I wonder about how I live my life now. I have a list of things to do, and responsibilities, that is 37 miles long. Some of them support family, kids, etc. Others are interest related, my interests, trends, school activities, etc. Another group is pure obligation, that I have to address. I find myself running around like a chicken with my head cut off, frequently. I also don't often necessarily feel stable, or safe, or like I'm enjoying myself.
When I review what I'm doing now, again, I find myself spending time and energy in a way that isn't really in alignment with my core beliefs and goals.
I don't really have an answer, because if I listed it all out, it's really hard to cross things off the list. But its an interesting thing to consider, to consider narrowing what I do and how I spend my time, to live more directly in alignment with my own core values and priorities.
Throw into the mix, the needs and preferences of a spouse, kids and parents, and this effort is guaranteed to be limited in its application.
This is my plan though. To consider all of these competing interests and try, really hard, to ensure that my efforts are directed towards objectives that I have chosen and truly want. It's not that every little action will be fun, or in my self interests, but that those things build towards bigger objectives that I have chosen and fully buy into. Turns out, I have very strong opinions about some things, and it scares me to even consider allowing those core values drive me... but it's an interesting thing to think about.