Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Work-Life Balance and Other Musings

It is about to become crunch time here at work, which means that I will be working some pretty long hours in the coming weeks, including weekends.  I don't mind so much, since it is only about 2-3 weeks each semester, and no worse than when I had a lot of grading as an instructor, but I sometimes look around at my colleagues and realize that others are able to get all of their work done during the work day, while I am not doing so well with that.  I think that part of my issue is that I'm suffering from ADOSD--Attention Deficit Oooh Shiny! Disorder.  You know, the one where, you begin by looking for one thing on the internet, then see a really cool link, follow it, and then find another cool link...until you realize that 2 hours have gone by and you still haven't found the information that you were looking for in the first place! ADOSD is a real hazard in my job, as part of my job is keeping abreast of the emerging technology and how it intersects with education.  It also doesn't help that I have tons of friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ that post amazingly interesting articles about technology, higher education, running, and related topics.  I was doing much better at not spending so much time reading articles when I only had Facebook to contend with!!!  Even so, I know it isn't the social media that is to fault, it is mine and mine alone.

I just need to figure out what to do about it, as I still want to keep up with my exercising, and that means being able to have the time after work--the pool is only open until 7:00pm, and if I run after 9:00pm, I tend to wake up in the middle of the night totally energized and have trouble getting back to sleep.  I have no idea why swimming has the opposite effect--I'm POOPED after my pool days! On my pool days, I can just come back to work afterwards, even though I doubt that I will want to.  I will be coming in on Saturdays, and that is one of my exercise rest days, so this works perfectly.  I've tried timer apps that cut your day into 25 min segments plus 5 minute rest periods, but the ticking has just become another sound to block out.  I only wish that there were some sort of way to restrict my internet without removing my ability to access the websites that I need to do my job, like Blackboard, my inbox, etc.  Any ideas would be appreciated!!! And yes, I know that writing here is just another distraction if it is done during the workday...

On a completely different note, I read something on a blog post by Elizabeth Duffy today that grabbed my attention:
The repulsive truth is that nothing will provide satisfaction in life but self-gift. Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Married, Single or Religious, you have to find a way to give yourself to others, while expecting nothing meaningful back in return.

 Self-gift without expecting anything back in return....not something that is easily done, no matter what the relationship, but that is what Jesus did for us.  If I am serious about imitating Him in my life, then I need to keep that at the forefront of my mind all the time.  I'm still learning how to do this, but it is one of those things that kind of hit me right between the eyes today as I read this.  One thing that I've noticed since getting divorced is that I'm often forgetting to think about others as I make decisions in my life.  This isn't necessarily completely a bad thing, as it is helping me to recapture my identity as a person in my own right rather than being the enabler of my ex's bad behavior.  At the same time, no matter what my state in life, I am called to give myself to others, just as all of us are, and I'm wondering if I have swung too far in the opposite direction.

This is my favorite depiction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It just seems to depict what devotion to the Sacred Heart is all about--Jesus giving us His Heart.  Someday, I want a nice print of this for my wall. It is by Desvallieres.
Ever since I can remember, my greatest fear has been that I would somehow miss God's will for my life.  What that means has changed as I've gotten older and grown in my faith, but of this I am absolutely sure of--God calls ALL of us to be saints.  As I read the lives of the saints, I am most struck by the fact that becoming a saint really means that I become the best me that I can be...I'm not a cookie cutter person, but I let Jesus work through and shine through everything that makes me uniquely me. At 37, I'm still figuring that last bit out, and the healing that I still need to do from my divorce is muddying the waters.  I always thought that I'd be further along in the process of becoming a saint by this point in my life, although I also thought that I'd be a stay-at-home mom of 6 by this point, too!  Instead, I'm a childless divorcee who is once again looking at her life and trying to figure out where God wants her to be.  I feel a lot like this song by Chris Rice most of the time.

I'm just so glad that the Lord hasn't given up on me...I'd be in real trouble if He ever did!  It goes back to the picture of the Sacred Heart above--Jesus is giving us His Heart, and in doing so, He will make us holy, joyful, and whole: a saint!  All we have to do is accept it and give Him our heart in return.  Now, if only I could get out of His way so that he could do all of those things in me!