Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer Where Are You?

This summer has been a busy summer for me.  Between attending weddings, my three jobs, planning the Young Associates Board: Run for Gus 5k, social networking groups, softball league, and personal life; I have had a very busy summer.

Learning how to manage my stress and work load is a fight I tend to lose at more than I would like to and even admit.  The reason why I lose this battle with myself is because I struggle in figuring out what I should give up and keep in my day-to-day life.  I want to be a super woman that can manage and balance her life as easy as baking a cake.  When I read about women who claim they can balance it all, are they really telling the truth?   It seems the media is saying more and more that women may be can't have it all.  What does that say to aspiring young women who are desperately looking for a role models.  Ramona from RHNY claims she can balance it all as does Kelly Rippa.   When I hear about these things, I always have to stop and check myself, because I know deep down that they aren't balancing everything all on their own.  They have a support team helping them.

After reflecting on my summer and how insanely busy I have been, I realized that I have not had much of a summer at all.  Has it been really worth it?  Is taking on so much at my age really the best thing for me at this time of my life?

As I looked back at my summer,  I realized that I have been to a pool twice, laid out in the sun 6 times, attended one city festival, one movie in the park, and have yet to go to the beach.  That is sad when you think about it.  There have been days where I can't even find 30 minutes for me to treat myself to a workout.  Why have I passed up going to the free concerts at the Pritzker Pavilion to stay late at the office or jam pack my schedule with networking events and activities after work?  Has it been worth it?  Yes and no.

Although they may not have been the best choices, I clearly made them for a reason and a good reason.  I love the work the YAB does for children with pediatric brain tumors, I want to be a successful business woman, and I am always eager to volunteer whenever possible.   Can you blame someone for wanting to do these things?  No, but should these things consume my every free moment outside of work?  Most people would say no.  I should be staying out late on a work night with friends because we went to a concert or a movie.  Or I went wine tasting after work with my boyfriend just because I can!  Instead I worry about checking my email at night, trying to get ahead with work, and making to-do's for the next day.  I sound like a PTA/Soccer mom and I am only 26.

I am a young business professional who does not have commitments waiting for me after work and I should be living life up everyday, because in actuality, time is of the essence.   Years from now I will have commitments that will prevent me from having this freedom.  Commitments being a dog or family, and parenting duties.   These are the years for me to enjoy having a flexible and carefree schedule, and I am letting these precious years slip away one by one.   Why has it taken me years to finally have this realization sink in?

As you can tell, this has definitely been a wake up call and a great life lesson.  Even though I enjoy my jobs, being on boards, volunteering, and attending networking events; I need to better balance my time, energy and attention to doing things that involve my friends, family, and most importantly, myself.   Time is running out and I know I will miss having a flexible schedule.   To ensure this happens, I am going to need to start minimizing some things out, especially the activities that prevent me from living a more carefree lifestyle and I know it is going to be tough for me to let some things go.  For now at least.

Any advice on how I can train myself to live a more carefree life?

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