You may remember me, SR readers, as the former intern who wrote a post in Summer 2012 about my early years navigating the “real world.” When I left off last year, I mentioned that I still freelance for one of my internship mentors as a break from my technical-focused day job (proposal coordinator for an engineering firm). I appreciated the creative outlet, and still do.
I’m here to tell you that side gigs are all well and good, but there’s something to be said for a work/life balance—especially for the college student or recent graduate. I remember being so caught up on preparing for my next assignment, paper, test, or final, that when I graduated, I thought I’d have more time in the day. Instead, I continued to fill my day planner without even thinking about it.
So, finding time for personal writing projects and other leisure activities has only become more difficult. I write out weekly goals, and somehow, those activities always get pushed to the bottom of the priority pile. There’s always something to do.
When I set out to write this post, I realized how much I looked forward to writing my post last year, and again, how much I looked forward to it this year. I have plenty of incentive when I know I’m writing a piece that will be followed by a 1099 Form at the end of the year. So, I thought, what makes this blog post so motivating?
For me, writing this post feels like leisure time, but it is also a commitment that I made to SR. It sits on the line between recreation and responsibility, so that I can’t just brush it off as something I might get to later. Ultimately, it’s a personal thing.
Even as an intern, contributing to SR has never felt like “work.” And, taking time to browse the pages within helps me put aside my day planner for a bit. Nothing causes me to pause like a good literary magazine! I mentioned in my last post that I try to focus on humility and embracing the big picture that there is always room to grow. I’m learning that growth doesn’t always come with a paycheck or a packed schedule.
Like many people, I found myself moving from one obligation to the next, catching moments out of the corner of my eye. Starting today, returning the balance ranks higher on my to-do list.