The CEO at my GS council has an internal blog that she posts on pretty regularly and always with careful and wise speech. In today's post, she talked about how we can not be great employees during the day if we are not taking care of ourselves outside of work. She used the example of a tree - if the roots are not healthy, the canopy can not be healthy. She talks a lot about taking care of ourselves so we can basically perform at our peak in all areas of our lives; easy to hear and hard to put into action when you are working 70 hours a week.
I've been thinking about this idea a lot, especially recently. I willingly give many more than 40 hours per week to my job because it is what I want to do and what I feel is necessary to be truly productive and successful (not in a monetary sense, more in a positive daily outcome sense). I work hard because I deeply believe that what I do has an impact on the lives of girls in our community, many of whom have life-changing experiences because of Girl Scouts. However, this hard work and these long hours come at a price...little time with my family, missed special occasions, few vacations, and no time for kids of our own (because I am busy with 16,000 of other people's kids!). I've been thinking a lot about what "needs to give" to make me healthier; less work, more time with people I love, more mornings at the gym, more time at home. How can I live by the old saying "work smarter, not harder" in order to be a better ME?
I think the answer is two fold.
Don't be lazy.
I guess that those two things sort of go hand in hand. Be intentional with your time and when you have time, don't misuse it by being lazy.
All of that to say...I've been working hard to do things that I know my heart needs to do. Flex off those extra hours and stay home to do the dishes. Paint. Write. Make time for a date with my husband. Go on a field trip with my nephew. It is hard because I feel like I should be at work but in that moment, I know i am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Tonight is a great example of this.
My sister texted me and said that both of my parents would be in Atlanta tonight and I should come and have dinner with them. It is hard to justify a 4 hour drive and a full tank of gas for a meal. But not really. I miss my parents; my sister texted me a picture of their sweet smiling faces and I cried at work. Easy justification...I needed to see their faces in person. To hug their necks and kiss their checks. To sit near them and remember their voices.
I needed this just for me today. More than I needed to work or do laundry or be in bed at a decent hour. I needed to feed my roots so my canopy will be strong...
(Edited at add: my amazing husband went to Atlanta with me, just so I wouldn't have to drive back alone at night. I married a blessing.)