a few weeks ago i decided to take a little mini-mental-break-vaca and I hopped on a plane and flew out to good ‘ol san fran. just for the weekend, nothing super fancy, but a much needed break from the chaos of work. in fact, it was me trying to get that “life” part of the “work-life balance” concept in check. in theory it was on my weekend … but that doesn’t really mean much of anything most times! i always love love love going out to the west coast (not all places … but most) because it means a break from the fast-paced craziness of east coast professionalism. sometimes going out west feels a bit like Europe, like there is something they have figured out regarding work-life balance that we didn’t get the memo for here on the east coast. don’t get me wrong … work is still clearly a priority, but it seems to be accomplished with a little less stress and probably a much lower average blood pressure!
as I enjoyed my weekend drinking good coffee, wandering the streets and hanging out by the marina, i was once again reminded of all the wonderful things life has to offer that can often be put on the back-burner when we are bogged down in our stressful lives of just trying to keep up. as i often have a chance to do while on my “eat-pray-love” adventures (as my co-workers call them), i had ample time to reflect on everything that life has thrown my way the past year, and it’s been quite a bit, but it has really helped me to start to figure out what i am and am not willing to sacrifice in life. i love such active cities like san fran, austin and denver where people are always out walking, biking, running, smiling, laughing and generally just being happy. not to mention drinking superb coffee. it is such a different dynamic than most places on the east coast where it’s just a little more serious, a lot less relaxed and overall just different.
i don’t like to think that i’m really a diva when it comes to most things, and it’s no secret that i will work long hours and weekends in order to get something done, but i am reaching a point where it’s no question that there need to be certain non-negotiables. for instance, it’s extremely important to me that I have an hour a day to workout. and ten minutes to talk to my family. and it would be nice to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep. your non-negotiables might be different, as i’m sure mine will be as i grow older and go to grad school, start a family, and have kids. but i think that it is important for us all to recognize what our non-negotiables are and find ways to uphold them to the best of our abilities. are there going to be exceptions? absolutely. however, they should remain exceptions and not become the norm because that is when we start to get out of balance. it is undoubtedly a difficult game to maneuver, but hey … the french have it figured out, and those folks out in silicon valley seem to as well.
my hope is that someday in the not-too-far future i will find myself out on the west coast living a life that will allow me to bike to work; but for now the cards are a bit different. i guess it all goes back to the fact that we must remain faithful in the fact that everything happens for a reason and there is a path for all of us. and we must keep everything in perspective. work is just that … work. we work so that we can live to enjoy the things that we love; like our families, friends, nephews, significant others, or if you are me … soulcycle and whole foods. whatever it is that gets you motivated in the morning, let that drive you and continually motivate you to go after your goals, because at the end of the day the only person that is going to go after them is yourself!
on that note, my plane is about to land so i must sign-off. until next time my friends.