considering personal life balance…

I always appreciate when colleagues, conferences, and blogs talk about work/life balance, particularly around student affairs, but honestly, truly… I’m snarking on the inside.  For one reason.

How can I work on my work/life balance when I can’t even balance my life, like my personal life in particular?

Two reasons in particular contribute to this lack of personal life balance… 1. I’m a total couch potato – 2. I’m a millennial (over-dramatic generalization, please excuse), and all I seem to be able to look at/focus on is my TV and PS3 (and it’s connection to Netflix, Hulu, and wonderful video games).

My last year at the College of Wooster was a bad example, because that was difficult for any number of reasons.  Now, here in Boston, starting out careers with Eugene, I am very much trying to figure out the life balance portion of the larger balance picture.  A recent Twitter exchange got me thinking about this, after Brian asked for Netflix/TV show suggestions.

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Thanks to this twitter conversation with Brian, I started to really consider what I am doing with my evening times once I get off from MIT, and head back home via the T (and even on the T).  Working out is a priority for both Eugene and I, but all too often, we are too tired (read: too lazy) to go work out, or we all too easily talk ourselves out of it.  We do cook our own dinner more often than not, which I know is a huge life win, and I’m really happy we do, because it gives us plenty of time to unwind and talk.  However, outside of those two activities in the evening, what am I doing?

Usually sitting around watching Netflix or Hulu or a DVD (I don’t have cable, which makes this even worse!).  So, here are some things I’m am committing myself to doing to help improve that life balance to hopefully further develop myself professionally and personally.

  • Read on the couch, rather than turn on the PS3 and veg out.  I have a large stack of books to read in my room, and an even larger Amazon Wish List of books.
  • Read scholarly articles on digital identity and international GLBTQ student issues.  Both are big academic interests of mine, and I can see myself pursuing further education in either.  I need to start putting in the work and development now before I let opportunities pass me up.  I am also committing to reading articles on the T now as well (Neu.Annotate is awesome for this on the IPad).
  • Work on this blog and other blogs.  This blog deserves the attention.  My enjoyment of writing also deserves this.
  • Explore Boston and the region on weekends.  I have a car in the city for a reason, so that it is easy for us to get out of the city.  I have no excuse to sit here on weekends and not do anything at all.

If you have also seen my tweets last night and this morning, Eugene is in NYC until Tuesday evening, being all interior designy and fabulous.  His boss put him up in a nice little boutique hotel, and he got to see Hugh Jackman this morning.  I hate him.  Also, because I had a crisis of confidence in myself as a bachelor on Sunday night… I literally sat in the kitchen for 30 minutes trying to figure out what I wanted for dinner.  I’ve gotten used to having him as a sounding board for ideas/cooking partner.  I’m going to try and be a productive member of society tonight.

Until I can get my personal life figured out, I sincerely apologize for my inner-snarkitude towards you if you try to talk to me about work/life balance.

What are you doing to help improve yourself in your personal life?  What are those key things that make you, you, outside of work? (*And not in the form of New Year’s Resolutions… I’m not a fan… sorry! Ugh, I’m just putting everyone on blast today, huh? Geez.)

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8 thoughts on “considering personal life balance…

  1. Oh Joel- I have the same issue post-work. I don’t have cable, but I have Netflix and I waste countless hours vegging out. I have been politely reprimanded for using my time better and cultivating hobbies and doing writing projects. It’s so hard to “work” after work though, and maybe that’s the error in my thinking. I can’t think of it as “work” because really, it’s not, right? It’s personal enrichment.

    My mind is full of ideas, but alas, the laziness kicks in and I never do anything. That will change… or at least I keep telling myself. 🙂 Let’s conquer our lazeness together!

    • I am all for that! I definitely utilize Eugene to keep me in check, and could definitely use other folks to keep me in check as well!

      I definitely hear you on the apartment not being “work.” Unfortunately, the most comfortable spot in the house to do work is in the living room in front of the TV, so the ‘temptation is always there.’ And I don’t use our desk/office enough, because I want to hang out with Eugene of course. It’s tough, but it’s a necessary mindset change.

      • Agree with Gina about bringing “work” home, even if it’s indirectly connected. Our office is not convenient to proximity of wife/TV/pug, all things I try to enjoy at home!

  2. Thanks for posting this – I need to hold myself to more reading (beyond reading my twitter feed and articles posted there), and writing more, especially for the Commons. I’m woefully behind.
    I have been far too tired/lazy to run at my usual frequency, so I need to get back to that.
    Knowing someone else I like is out there trying to do the same may help in the incentive department!

    • I feel like reading is one of the best things I could be doing for myself right now. Too much good stuff to mind-digest out there right now.

      And I feel like this is definitely out there, it just gets gobbled up in the work/life balance discussion.

      • I always said I’d read more after grad school when it wasn’t required for class. I can in stretches, but not as consistently as I’d like.

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