Last night, we had dinner with a friend of my husband’s. We were all talking about the need for passion in anything that you want to accomplish. Passion is the thing that keeps you going in the face of adversity, when any other rational person would have called it quits. I agree. But this type of single minded focus does have consequences on your day to day life.
I constantly struggle to manage my friendships while I am in school. It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with my friends – I actually miss them a lot. But having paid 6K for tuition, I have a difficult time enjoying the company of my friends when my mind is on my school work. I feel guilty at times because I end up missing birthdays, get togethers and special occasions. Before I realize it a year has gone by and I have not spent time with some of the people who are closest to me. The great thing about being an adult is that you can choose to have certain people in your life. I am fortunate to have friends in my life that are supporting my return to school.
How do you manage the balance between work, school and life? I don’t think there is a formula. Some months I consider social activities as they arise. Other months (especially at the end of the term) I impose a moratorium on all social functions.
What do the experts say? The Globe and Mail recently wrote an article on work-life balance. Reporter Harvey Schachter asked expert, Louise Thompson – a life coach and author of the book The Busy Woman’s Guide to High Energy Happiness. Ms. Thompson suggests,
If you want to take one powerful action to improve your work-life balance, consciously decide who you want in your “Circle of Five.” The five people you spend the most time with are your biggest influencers, and that can either power you forward toward achieving your dreams and goals, or it can keep you stuck and held back. Your Circle of Five, when consciously chosen, can be the most powerful force in effortlessly pulling you toward your best year and best life.
Although I have not consciously chosen a “Circle of Five”, when I reflect, I only have a handful of people that I truly interact with regularly. This has helped me remain focused on my goal. My Circle of Five is not comprised of exclusively people. To be honest with you, my cat takes up one spot. She stays up with me during those late nights, cuddles with me and plays with me when I need a break. All with no judgement. Thanks Ella 🙂