I am sitting on an airplane, composing this offline as I wait to find out if the part that is needed for the plane is available, or if I will be switching planes. I can think of no better time to meander on thoughts on “balance” that have occupied me the past couple of months.
It has been an eventful time for Jalan and me. We have traveled cross-country; we have dealt with the most intense of family issues (not between us, I hasten to add –we’re solid); we have continued to wrestle with issues posed by my mental illness; and through it all, we have talked. Oh, how we have talked. I am garrulous anyway when with people with whom I am comfortable, and under stress, Jalan and I talk through what’s going on. Put differently, I was never at flight school in which to be laconic.
First, some upsides.
- My meds are in balance, after further tweaking since my last entry here. I am as close to serene as our circumstances have permitted, but without being numbed to those circumstances.
- Jalan and I are, as noted, solid. One of our mantras (engraved in my wedding band) is “Better Together.” This applies to good times we share, but is perhaps even more important for the bad times. Whatever we are doing and experiences (save the flu or the like) is better done together. Yes, we’rethat couple — joined at the hip, and sickeningly sweet.
- I have been able to keep up my work obligations during these stresses (but see below).
- Our life situation has been such that we have been able to devote the time and resources to the family, travel, and personal needs.
Switching planes it is, then.
Now the part about work during stresses. Not just work, but leisure and family time. Concentration has been challenging. I’m way behind on one deadline, and another major project has been postponed for months, after I realized that I would not be able to turn in a quality product.
That sounds like a downside, but it also gave time for and reflects some navel-gazing over the past weeks. My career is such that I can largely strive for as much success as I want to. Many of the job tasks I do are those that I take on — shooting for a low probability of a big return — but the baseline requirements are things I can usually handle without major stress.
This does not mean I’m shucking those extras willy-nilly, but it does mean that I have a fair bit of control over how much more than full-time I actually work. This period of reduced resources has led me to think about that control and those decisions. I write often about intentionality vs. habit. This has been brought to the fore with respect to balance in my life.
I have other things I like doing, and I’ve been doing a lot of them. I like spending time with Jalan that is not just side-by-side “laptopping.” We’ve streamed a lot of movies together (that’s why the good lord invented Roku). I’ve rediscovered that I like reading novels. I like surfing porn, kink blogs, and authors’ blogs on Tumblr. I like cooking. I even like blogging, tweeting, and so on, in both vanilla and kink accounts — I’ve noticed my participation in social networks has ramped up, with less self-censoring. I like being tied up, though that’s been in terribly short supply due to the circumstances. I’m spending more time exercising (a low bar), and hope to get back to a regular gym habit when I’m home.
In other words, stresses and all, I’ve been living in a way that seems to suit me. I still have ambitious work goals, but the forced slow pace has helped me realize the contributors to and rewards of my serenity.
Time to discontinue use of all portable electronic devices.