Glad to hear your having an amazing week. Keep up the good work.
Your Question: How do you balance your work with other aspects of your life like family, health, and spiritual well-being?
Good luck to you and keep it up!
Dave Ureña, P.E.
3104 N. Armenia Ave
Tampa, FL 33607
Natalya, I love your comment about the properties of time! It's too funny and so true. There's never enough time, but you can always make time for the things that matter. I'm right there with you in terms of struggling to balance time between work and family. I find that drawing boundaries really help. I'm committed to work from 8-5pm. I'm committed to my baby from 6-8pm, and 6-7am. If there's extra work to be done, I can do it between 9pm-5am... hence, I'm up right now wrapping up some work. But this is rare. On weekends, it's mostly family time. For someone who used to work from 8am-8pm and weekends(!!), I am definitely making a conscious decision to scale back on my career and workaholism. It still is very challenging for me to say no at work and see the negative career impacts of "scaling back", but I know it's worth it because motherhood is the most important job I will ever have. They say it's easier to raise strong children than to fix broken adults.
Luis, I totally understand where you're coming from too. I was previously addicted to triathlons and surfing for years! It still brings me so much joy to relive the good times... I think what you'll find is that you'll always feel off kilter until you regain some of that activity, even if it's workout a week and only 20 minutes day of some physical activity. Yes, I know what you're thinking... for someone who probably spent hours a day on sports, that's only a warm up, but it will release the tension in your muscles and allow you to clear your mind a bit. I find that things in life comes in phases, so you will have a phase where you're completely immersed in work and your career will be nothing short of stellar, and then you'll get back to your wellbeing in a few years when certain projects slow down or family life forces you to change your pace. It's okay to slow down your physical activity a bit as long as you don't completely let go. These days, I do stretches often and then try not to break my back carrying my toddler up and down our stairs. =) When she's old enough to stay up a bit later, I'll get back to running in the evenings and hiking with her on weekends. I need to plan these things so I know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Best of luck in everything!
Jane Horvath, P.E., M.ASCE
Make a lot of walks to get healthy and don't read that much but save yourself some until you're grown up – there came the advice from the Giant (Albert Einstein; 1879 – 1955) to his young son. Even for a son looking up to his father, it is not that difficult to pursue what Einstein advised – but it is much more difficult to balance things that matter to life, family, profession and career.
Some of us manage the balancing act better; others are inclined in one or the other direction so much so – that they become entrapped in the vulnerability to fall. And waking up at a certain time, perhaps find that the life and family parts of the equation (glass balls in Stephanie's word) are shattered. There comes the destiny of the irreversibility of processes – defined by the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics – to higher entropy and disorder.
Luis, I really enjoyed reading the feedback to your question and have walked away with sound advice. Thanks for posting this question! I balance my work with other aspects of my life by starting off with a good night of rest. I've already lost the task of balancing my responsibilities and routines if I don't start off with a full tank. Carlos Zuluaga's comment about being at peace with letting things go resonated a lot with me as well. Along those lines, I've created personal goals and expectations for myself and felt guilty if I didn't reach them in a designated time period. I am learning to give myself a break – literally and figuratively. Also, spontaneous breaks from a schedule allow me to feel reinvigorated upon my return to a daily routine. From now on, I plan my route but embrace the detours!