So after all that, what was my (now 3 months ago) new year’s resolution? One word: Integration.
n. The making up or composition of a whole by adding together or combining the separate parts or elements; combination into an integral whole: a making whole or entire.
(courtesy of the Oxford English Dictionary)
There are four big buckets of stuff in my life (in order of the amount of time they take): family, work, me (social life, reading, writing), and yoga. As you might guess, these realms frequently come into conflict. The most obvious example is that work can keep me from spending time with my family or practicing yoga.
But it was my desire to write and the conflicts that produced that really got me thinking. A couple of years ago, I decided I needed to take my shot at writing fiction, that if I didn’t become a regular fiction writer, I would die unfulfilled. I spent a lot of time at it and stressed about it even more. I struggled to set aside time to write and was fiercely possessive of that time. Meanwhile, I had two young children, a brand new law firm, and had just become a trustee. Not surprisingly, the fact that I suddenly wanted a bunch of time to myself led to a lot of conflict at home and at work as well as within myself.
The answer? I gave up writing. Soon, though, I realized that the urge had not gone away, and that I needed to do something. But I wanted to do something that didn’t create conflict. Hence the birth of this blog, a place where I can write about the relationships between all the areas of my life. There are ways that my family life or my yoga help my work, or my work and family life can help me in my personal sphere (the “me” bucket). It turns out that writing doesn’t have to be scissors but can instead be the glue.
I have a healthy interest in charts, so I thought I make one.
So, starting with “work” in the left-hand column and traveling towards “yoga” on top, you can see that work influences my yoga by creating motivation for me to go to yoga, i.e. a need to de-stress. Moving a column to the right, work influences my family life by inspiring me to be as respectful with my family as I am in court. Then, next, work influences writing by providing conflict in my life, conflict being necessary for all good writing. Perhaps it is anticlimactic to put the work row first, because that is the one that is really surprising to me. Work can be pretty hard and stressful, but it has been great for me to understand the very positive ways it has influenced my life. The rest of it – how great and sustaining yoga, writing, and family life are – is great, but more obvious. The real challenge for me is to integrate work into the rest of my life and create a fulfilling whole…and a (hopefully) interesting blog!