As I mark the one year anniversary of this venture, I continue to tweak and refine the balance of work, play, and rest in my schedule. While I began with a desire to silo and separate the different elements into discrete blocks for writing, teaching, serving, and learning. I am discovering instead the value of integration.
My initial theory was that by creating days dedicated to one or another type of activity, I could truly focus and invest 100 percent of my time and energy without interruption. But in practice, it never worked that way. Questions and meetings about a writing project would sneak into a teaching day by way of a phone call or email. The travel schedule of a private client would push a teaching block into a writing day. The shelter at which I was volunteering asked whether I could teach a weekday class rather than serve breakfast on the weekends.
At first, I tried hard to keep gathering up the elements and sorting them back into their "proper" places, but I soon realized the time I spent organizing and reorganizing was squandering resources I could instead invest in things I need and want to do.
We are all more than the sum of our parts, and we needn't be defined solely by our jobs, hobbies, or relationships. Letting go of the need to identify as a teacher, or writer, or volunteer, or friend/wife/daughter/mama has allowed me to relax and ease into these overlapping, complementary identities and let them enrich each other - and me.
Can you integrate the pieces of your life and allow the whole you to shine through?