Keeping Perspective

The last couple of weeks I’ve seen myself make some choices I didn’t think were possible….at least for me.

I always feel “connected” in some way or another to my work, my career, my planning, my future. May this be through Twitter, reading articles via RSS feeds in my Reader, or planning of some sort. If I don’t feel “connected” or am not working, I have a tendency to feel guilty. The thoughts that race around my head (most of the time) go something like “you can’t miss anything, Alisa, if you do you’re behind”, or “if you don’t put in the work, you won’t succeed as a information professional because technology is moving too fast”.

Last weekend I made a choice. I had a choice between working in my study – brainstorming a “work” project or catching up on my #CCK11 course activities – or heading to the beach with my man. So…. what do you think I chose? Let me explain….

Something shifted within myself that day. I don’t know how long it will last, given the semester is about to start up again, but my real values came out to play. Over the last month, I’ve completed the first chapter of the book “Skills for Success: The Personal Development Planning Handbook” by Stella Cottrell (highly recommend). In this chapter I identified my top three areas of success which are important to me.

  • Being respected and recognised by my peers and profession on an international stage – more like a goal really, but nonetheless important to me;
  • Seizing and maximising opportunities; and
  • Family life

Last weekend, and again this weekend, I chose spending time with my partner over working. My choice paid off – a beautiful beach, clear, warm water and we had fun. I chose my relationship over my work, which would’ve been in my study not enjoying what the day and sun had to offer. This weekend, we were at the beach again, and this time I tried surfing. All my partner wanted to see was me riding a wave in on the old surfboard as a ‘boogie’ board, nothing more. He was very surprised when I tried to stand. My hand slipped and I smacked my collarbone on the corner of the board. It bloody hurt, but you know what? My partner was so proud I gave it a crack.

My partner is proud of what I’ve achieved and what I’m capable of achieving. That’s important to me; the support is priceless. Not only today in the surf, but of how committed I am to my work and my career of choice. Those in my PLN and others in my profession are all committed, there is no doubt, and I’m not saying its all for nothing. What I am saying is that every now and then, there needs to be precious moments you won’t give up for anything. Moments you treasure can also be in the work we do, but there are moments which are less serious which make me think about the simple joys in life.

A balance between our work and life needs to be achieved. This will be different from person to person, and that’s ok. What I do believe we need to find out about ourselves is what’s important to us. What does success mean to you?

Yes, in a few weeks I’ll be even busier with the new semester commencing – two (and a bit) subjects plus working full time. But I must keep some time aside for other areas in life which are also important, if only to maintain my sanity and perspective on what life is really about…..

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  1. My grandmother always said that no-one lies on their deathbed wishing they’d spent more time at work….

    Grab the opportunities to put family first, because sometimes you just can’t make that choice (like when an assignment is due tomorrow) and you’ll be glad you did when you could. 🙂

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