Monday, February 28, 2011

Thinking about balance: long-term and short-term goals

Duchesse of Passage des perles brings up a good thought: balance.

My several resolutions are all about bringing balance into my life in multiple ways. I realized a couple of years ago that my life was way out of balance. If my life was a pie chart, it would have been 90% job and 10% everything else, which made me cranky and sad. I felt stuck, which wasn't only about particulars of this job, but about how I was approaching the whole of my life.

Long-term goals had been ignored or disabled to handle the daily/short-term goals thrown at me by chairs and deans, requiring re-actions rather than planned actions. And the drah-ma of other people's emergencies obliterated by energy and personal goal planning, making me depressed and disconnected.

This has changed, thanks to my own new awareness and redirection.

My total long-term goal, in fact, is to become more conscious about the balance in my life and to slowly, slowly make adjustments until I am spending part of each day investing in each area: resources, living situation, community, health, and creative work. Or at least, part of each week. To identify and balance daily/short-term tasks with long-term tasks, and then to bring both to completion. To eliminate re-action in favor of conscious and planned action.

For example, one long-term goal is to buy a house. But in confronting my current need to move, I have also (re)discovered that I might not want to buy here in DFW, but instead find a vacation/retirement house for long-term use. That would require redefining my housing goals and broadening my field of possibility.

This month, I have been really fulfilled in putting forward the scripts of my students for performance, making sure the process of their rewriting and the nightly rehearsal hours were fruitful for everyone--including directors, actors, and stage managers. This week we'll have audiences, and this project will come to an end. It was a short-term goal that started really in October and is now almost over: 5 months in length with over 52 collaborators.

The next short-term task connected to a goal--which is moving to the new apartment--will start mid-month. This will be shorter in duration (hopefully, only about 4 weeks) and less of a production.

The terrible thing about moving is the upset and the hoisting, hiring movers and being ready for them. The wonderful thing, for me, is being in a new place and nesting. I am really looking forward to having more space to put out my furniture and belongings, especially with the monthly rent savings. To spending the next six months "nesting."

Two apartments ago, the space was too big. This apartment is too small. I think this new one, like Baby Bear's bed, will be "just right."

Just about the time that project is complete, I'll be looking at the long, hot summer without an extra class to teach. Which--glass half-full--means freedom. I can indeed spend most of every day writing.


With most of May, June, July and August open, I can set short-term writing projects that must be completed by 8.15. Long-term project: get writing career up and flowing. Short-term: finish specific projects, save money, stay cool.

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