I’m sure most people can relate to the fact that life is much like a balancing act. We each hold various responsibilities and priorities that we must fulfill hourly, weekly, monthly, etc. Depending upon a multitude of factors like personality and career, some have learned how to approach this balancing act better than others. Recently, I was speaking with a friend who is also in a counselor education doctoral program. Both of us uprooted our lives and moved clear across the country in pursuit of our goals and dreams. During this conversation, I pronounced “I feel like as my professional identity strengthens, lately, my personal identity has gone down the tubes.” While I spoke this, I had an underlying tone of frustration. But, as I reflected on it, I saw it more as a healthy dose of homesickness. She is one of few people who truly can empathize with what I am going through and I share it wholeheartedly with her. It was then that I realized my balance was a bit out of whack.
On one hand, it is commendable that I have deeply committed to my professional side. But on the other, I have neglected an important aspect: myself. I believe my internal drive has led me well in my career. Now, if only I could apply it to my own physical health. Consequently, I woke up the morning after this conversation with a strong drive to change. I called one of my classmates and asked if she would join me in a yoga class on campus. She quickly answered “Sure, sounds fun.” Without hesitation, we embarked upon a new bonding opportunity as friends.
As many people would do, the two of us situated ourselves and our mats in the very back corner of the fitness studio. In the minutes leading up to the beginning of the class, I observed my surroundings. I was, truly, the oldest person in the studio. I am by no means older, but nor am I in my early 20’s like most of the people in there. After 60 minutes of mind and body focus, I was amped up and ready for more. I committed myself to 30 minutes a day for 30 days…
UPDATE: After more than two weeks, I have only missed 2 days. I would say that I am on my way to achieving more balance in my life.
Sandi Logan is school counselor and currently a doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at University of Florida. Prior to pursuing further studies, she worked as an elementary and middle school counselor in Southern California.