Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Real Grind

This was taken in an Eagle Rescue / rehab center in Ketchikan, Alaska. Noble birds visiting and wishing one another well.

I am running out of steam, I have had a couple of six day work weeks.  I have been a part of three national conferences, one of which I produce, four conference presentations, and carrying my normal workload in the office.  I have another couple of busy, though only five day weeks, and then I am taking a week off - going for snuggles with the my sweet bear.

My work runs in cycles,  April - May, and October - November are the busiest times of the year.  When I moved to DC I vowed to not work at home, unless I started sleeping in my office. I can't get comfortable to sleep in the office, so I seldom work at home.  I have done an extraordinary job of separating work and personal time.  It is much healthier for me.  In the past I have worked tons of six and seven day weeks and allowed work to intrude into my home life.  Doing so took a toll on my physical and mental health.  I work a few weekend days, because of conference commitments and work related travel.  I try to take a free day during the week to balance that out - when I can. When obligations stack up like they have the last three weeks, the grind takes a toll, my writing and creativity start to fade.  I am not paid to produce widgets, I am paid to think and be creative.  I need time, rest and flexibility to do that effectively.  I have slogged through, but wonder if last Saturdays closing plenary at a national conference would have been better - if it was not at the end of the grind, and I had more time to think about how to focus on the culture change in decision making that we are trying to encourage.  We did good, could we have done better?

When I am deep in the grind, I take real days off, when I take a day off.  I do self indulgent things that I want to do.  I sleep late, or take a nap when I can.  It helps.  I recognize that I am not doing my best work, when I am in the grind.  And when I have a moment I flash back the great adventures.  I had a nice flash back moment on Saturday, the second question was from a person who had heard me speak in Hawaii in February 2015 - who started out by saying they need to have me come back.  I would re-live that adventure in the drop of a hat, I'd board the inside passage cruise to Alaska again also.

When you are in the grind, what adventure to you think of?


  1. Hot springs! I meditate on them in my peak season (March and the June-August)

  2. I admire your ability to know your limits and to do the right things for yourself when you take some time off. I was never very good at that and found it nearly impossible to take my brain where it needed to go during downtime. NOT working is my best way to escape the grind.

  3. I want to go to a utopia where there are no orange-faced people. or men in white sheets.

  4. Thank you for helping me realize I need more adventure.