Reflecting on priorities of family & work
When I began this blog earlier in the year, I did not have any real expectations about how often I would publish something or how much it would be read. It was mostly for me – trying to get some of the noise out of my head and onto a page that would allow me to stay true to how I wanted to live my life. Well, it’s been several months since my last post about starting a new job. The new job is not why I haven’t been blogging. It comes down to new priorities as well as re-prioritization of some old ones.
1.Fitness – This has been the biggest time commitment and has been ramping up since last spring. Now, I’ve kicked it into a new gear. Last November I completed my first Olympic length triathlon (~1mile swim, 22mile bike, and 6mile run) and committed to doing a half Ironman next year (1.2mile swim, 55mile bike, and 13.2mile run). I’ve been training consistently for 6-9 hours a week, mostly in the morning, which is when I would normally blog.
Even though the actual race isn’t until next September, I love the training and I don’t ever want to go back to square one. Also, I have 5-7 endurance races planned for next year starting in March or April and want to stay sharp. If you’re interested, I’m raising money for the Lazarex Cancer Foundation for the half Ironman triathlon.
2. Coaching – I took a year off of coaching my daughter’s basketball team and I regretted it almost right away. My attitude was that I had coached basketball and/or soccer since she was 5 and it was time for someone else to do it. Working against me is that I have a really strong coaching philosophy and it was difficult to watch someone else coach a different way than I would. I often take over situations like this, but that wouldn’t be fair to the volunteers who did step up to coach. I just had to bite my lip and let it happen. This only takes 3-4 hours a week between prep, practice, and game, but that’s 3-4 hours that I could be writing. I’ve also been working with my son and his running. We’ve been running together 1-2 times a week which doesn’t take too much time or energy (he’s 9 and runs a little over a mile at a time in about 11 or 12 minutes), but it is just one more thing.
3. Work – Ok. So I stated in the first paragraph that work had nothing to do with why I wasn’t blogging. It’s not the amount of time I’m spending on work, but the kind of work I’m doing. I’m not necessarily working more (or fewer) hours, but the type of work I’m doing requires a lot of the same brain muscle as blogging (including blogging for work). What’s hard is writing and reading for a significant part of the workday and then having the discipline to come home and write instead of watching tv.
It all boils down to time and energy. In terms of time, the 6-9 hours of training is up from 2-3 hours a week, so that’s significant. The 3-4 hours of coaching is up from 1 hour of merely watching her games. In terms of energy, the amount of reading and writing at work and my training schedule requires mental and physical energy which makes tv watching so much more appealing both at the end of and the beginning of the day.
A final unexpected benefit of the training is that it provides me with reflection time which is similar to why I blog. I actually have to come to love swimming, which last February was the bane of my training. I love the repetitive motion and the ease of shutting everything else out. Running, cycling, and the gym pose multiple distractions from scenery to music and podcasts. With swimming, it’s just my thoughts and a black line on the bottom of the pool. Swimming is essentially providing me with personal reflection time that blogging was doing, so the need isn’t as great.
I have made it a practice not to set new year’s resolutions and 2016 will be no different. I’m not resolving to blog more in 2016 or blogging for the sake of blogging. I’m going to blog when inspiration meets time and energy – just like this morning (being on vacation sure doesn’t hurt).