Balancing Act


Sports happened.

I’ve joked with a coworker that someday when I couldn’t come up with a blog topic, the above was going to be my entry. While – as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now – that isn’t my entire blog, if ever there was a time I was tempted, this might be it.

Before I typed those two words, I stared at a blank document for a good 20-25 minutes. It wasn’t that I couldn’t come up with a topic so much as the fact my brain has been working overtime lately. The local sports scene has certainly kept me hopping during the past two or three weeks. That isn’t a complaint. This is a really fun time of year sports-wise and, to be honest, I have a pretty awesome job.

I’ll be the first to admit, during these busy times of year – partially by choice and partially through obligation – I turn into a workaholic. It’s hard for my mind to focus on anything else.

This past week, I was in Marshall for volleyball on Thursday and headed up to St. Cloud for Pipestone Area’s Class AA football state semifinal on Friday. This weekend I’ll be in Minneapolis for Prep Bowl XXXIV games on Friday and Saturday. I also have to finish up our winter schedule book – which comes at you Friday, by the way. These are what have been near the forefront of my mind more often than not lately.

While I enjoy all of it, there is a price to pay. While I focus on those events and assignments along with various things surrounding them, there is also a slightly smaller part of my brain that is stressing out. It’s telling me to slow down and, more importantly, stop neglecting other parts of my life.

Some of those things are simple. Right now the clock on my computer screen reads 2:11 a.m. and I’m planning to be at work in less than eight hours. That nagging part of my brain is telling me I need to get some sleep, but that side rarely wins.

Other things are more serious. They make me feel guilty and frustrated with myself. These are the reminders (or at least worries) that I may be neglecting relationships that are important to me. Thoughts that, even when I am interacting with others, that I’m not fully present; my mind is on the next game or what I have to get done later.

During this most recent stretch, I’ve tried to be more conscious of the parts of my life that aren’t work-related. This doesn’t mean I’m shirking responsibilities at the office or putting any less effort into my job. It just means I’m doing my best to do something every day to help relieve these anxieties, even if it’s something as simple as a quick text message to a friend just to say hello.

While my success has varied, I think being mindful of things other than work has helped. I’ve still had some of those anxious moments where I worry that some part of my life – or worse, someone in my life – is being neglected, those moments have been more fleeting and less severe than similar periods in the past.

So yes, sports happened. They’re going to happen later, too. But that isn’t the whole story.


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