If you are as lucky as I am, you get to do what you love for a living. I am a museum professional by day. The institution I work for is housed in a beautiful building. Its structure feeds both my passion for historical architecture and my fascination with modern and environmentally sustainable design.
Creatives waltz through my office door every day with wonderful ideas of how we can best engage the community we serve. I work long hours, many times a week, to make sure that the programs I am in charge of run as smoothly as possible. I am constantly researching new ideas, or even come to the office on weekends, when I know too much was left to do for the following ‘work day’.
I do it because I am truly passionate about my job. However, I feel a little hole is expanding in my chest when I don’t dedicate time to nurture the other “motors” in my life: Painting, blogging, watching movies, learning Italian, and researching all the subjects that make my head spin and make me wish I had a few lifetimes to become an expert in all of them.
After spending months over doing it at work, I had to have a serious conversation…..with myself.
I have been in this place throughout my adult life enough to know that, when I feel stressed and a lack of excitement to go back to work because I feel I’ve just left, I need to re-group and re-map how I want my weeks to look and most importantly, to feel.
Drawing the line is easy; the real challenge is to not cross it over and over again. With that thought in mind, I recommend you to…
Listen to the unique way in which your body and mind naturally decompress. For some, having a full two days to completely disconnect is necessary to go back to work with renewed energy.
For me, spending at least an hour of every day doing something completely unrelated to my job helps me feel like I’ve reached some kind of balance. Sticking to an eight hour work schedule helps. More than that and I feel like a zombie when I finally get home after spending almost an hour fighting traffic.
Once I am at home, I make a concerted effort to spend at least an hour doing something that brings me joy. It is amazing how just an hour can help my body feel more at ease and my mind a little less boggled by budgets, emails, and deadlines.
I can watch part of a movie in Italian, start a sketch, catch up with my favorite “off duty” read (currently enjoying Face Paint by Lisa Eldridge). I can walk by the boardwalk next to the beach and bask in the glory of a gorgeous Florida sunset. Sometimes, I take a bath while listening to my favorite Pandora station, put my bathrobe on, and browse the net for a new pair of pants or sunglasses.
After that ‘magical’ hour, I may go back to filling out forms, paying bills, making phone calls, and doing laundry. Nevertheless, I do so with a “pep in my step” because, that one hour, makes all the difference in the world to me.