I have been in the New York City area now for two weeks. I go home tomorrow. As always, the event is a very big bag of mixed feelings. Worse still, this time, I was working for the first week and a half that I was here. Apparently September is a “bad time” for a communications manager to take holiday, even if you are Jewish and always take holiday around the Jewish High Holidays. I worked out a compromise that allowed me to be in the area over the holidays, even if I needed to be working most of the time.
The jury is still as to if this was a good idea or not. I can promise you that the many, many hours I was working, I wished I was in my office. I have always been an advocate of flexible workplaces that allow for working remotely when possible. More and more though, I rarely think it is optimal. There is just something better about having your colleagues near you and the opportunity to discuss issues at any time, rather than awkwardly over a Skype chat.
Right now, I am in a phase at work in which I feel the need to be constantly connected. Everything moves fast, and ideas flow at all hours of the day. Thus I need to stay on top of the communication to stay on top of all the ideas that are moving in and out of focus. I like my job, but this is by no means a healthy approach. And when you are remote, and in a different time-zone, that situation is multiplied. I will be happy next Monday to wake up, go in to the office, and work a good day, and then come home and do something else.
It is the Jewish New Year, and while I don’t make resolutions around Rosh Hashanah, I find that this year it is a great time to make some new promises to myself. We also just passed into Autumn, and time of year that also produces a big bag of mixed feelings for me. This year, it is the beginning of renewal. A year ago I was not working, attending French courses daily, trying to get my life back to a healthy spot from which I could find work that would be more rewarding than taxing.
Like all relationships, work requires, well, work. ‘Effort’ in this case: effort to strike the right balance between doing your job well and your personal life. Allowing yourself to succeed in your career without letting it take over. Remembering that you are always going to be better at a job when you have a healthy mind and spirit. It is perhaps harder when you enjoy your job, to remind yourself that you need to define limits.
I wanted to be a writer. I got a job as a writer. I get to write all day long now. Well, and there is other stuff I have to do too that I don’t like so much, but I try not to focus on those aspects. I need to write about subject other than those I cover at work, and importantly, I need to read more of what other people write, on all sorts of topics, to improve the quality and relevancy of my writing.
I need to practice my guitar, go for walks with my husband, make soup for dinner. I need to be outside as much during the day as is possible, without contradicting my previous statement that it is much more beneficial to work from the office. As I learned after taking my car to the garage for a tune-up, maybe I should take the 30 minute walk to work at an increased frequency compared to the 10 minute car-ride. Then again, maybe I should start with smaller resolutions. After all, we set the clocks back in a few weeks, and the winter is around the corner. I need to start small, let’s work on the work/life balance for a while.