I’m back from vacation, and I’ve been in school for just about two weeks now. As expected, my drive is still drained. I’m not entirely sure what to do about it.
Last semester was an extremely busy one, as I said (multiple) times here. I spent the year trying to find a good balance, to do my work well but to play hard too. So, this semester, I’m still technically working 4 jobs and taking 4 classes, but I actively tried to downsize. Many tasks from the podcast were delegated (thanks Eric, Laura, Prairie, and Sarah!), organizations I was more actively involved with I decided to either make my boundaries clear or to just leave if I wasn’t able to provide enough of my own attention, I put little breaks between places I need to be so that I’m not rushing all day, I’ve been getting to bed before midnight, and so on.
So I don’t feel so stressed, but it’s been harder to actually get much done, especially at home. Today I had a snow day that was supposed to be an all reading, all homeworking day, but nope. I had a slow lunch, the kittens and I watched the snow, the kittens and I watched the vehicles scooping up all of the snow, I played a game, I’ve been looking at Pinterest, and relaxing.
It is just the first two weeks. Everyone is moving slowly and letting things settle in. But, I think I’m still struggling to find the right work/life balance for me. I don’t want to be a workaholic, but I don’t want to be lazy and unproductive, either.
My winter break was truly wonderful: not only did I get engaged to my best friend, but I also got to spend a lot of time in California with my parents. I cooked and baked for them, we went on a few outings (including a little hike to a beautiful waterfall near my parents’ home), and I took care of my dying cat, Cally. She died January 18th, four days after I left home, and though I miss her and love her, I’m so happy she spent such a happy and long life with us (20 years!). I feel very thankful for the time I got to spend with her, and with my parents.
The problem is that I can’t stop remembering how peaceful I felt putting those ingredients together to bake a sweet treat or to make something new for dinner. I usually mess up vacations by staying busy, not getting enough sleep, or doing nothing that I can remember, but this time my vacation made me feel blissful. Instead of feeling rejuvenated, I just miss it.
My future professional plans are changing a bit. I’m not so focused on Archiving as I saw it when I came in to school. I value my teaching experience, my public services experience, but now I also value our dream of a little cheese shop and my fondness for cooking. Instead of imagining myself in a room filled with boxes to be organized, now I can see myself doing outreach, marketing, and workshop programming part-time and maybe podcasting part-time (Eastern European history podcast anyone?). I want to sleep enough, cook for us enough, explore new places enough, and exercise enough. And we can live above our tiny, successful cheese shop.
My time back has gotten me worried that I somehow lost all ambition. But I think my ambitions are just switching tracks, and I think, and hope, that’s okay.