I was lucky enough to be reminded about how important it is to have outlets to one’s everyday grind – hobbies, whatever – in order to stay sane.
I was at a photography workshop in Death Valley almost a month ago. While I am not particularly happy that it took a paid, almost forced effort to get me back into “just for me” photography, it kind of put me back into a good groove. I’m now carrying a camera with me everywhere and if not for the need to sit here waiting for the cable guy I’d be out shooting in this great fog we’re experiencing right now.
With work during the day and night classes for my MBA, I just don’t have time for a lot of “me time.” But I realize now how important it is to stay ahead of my work not just because it’s a good thing to do, but also because I need that outlet to keep myself level and balanced.
I’ve also unfortunately watched my wife struggle with this. After being a full-time student for four years, she is now working again but, as a nurse, she works 3-4 days in a row and then has large amounts of time to herself (she is also working 2.5 hours away so it’s not like we can plan to have lunch together if she has to stay an extra day – she does come home between those 3-4 days of work). She really went back and forth looking for something to occupy her time. She did find a few things, and of course I’m not singling her out – I could be talking about similar issues many of my friends have dealt with. But it really is important to keep something in one’s back pocket to keep things in perspective. Especially considering the week’s events (see “In Memoriam” a couple of posts ago) I need that perspective all the more.