Finding Balance Between Pursuing Your Passion and Getting Overwhelmed

As the name Teaching Balance suggests, one of the primary themes of my work is to support educators in finding balance in their lives.  Part of this is the idea of work-life balance, but I’ve increasingly observed that more and more people alternatively use terms like work-life integration.  

The idea of work-life integration suggests that the work we do blurs into the other parts of our lives, and often by choice.  This is certainly true for educators.  Most teachers would say that they often work on planning or grading outside of the school day.  This is a result of necessity – there just isn’t enough time to get it all done.  It is also a result of educators’ professionalism.  You can’t help but reflect on your lessons, making plans and finding ideas and inspiration in life outside of school.
The key to a healthy integration between our work-life and life outside work is to avoid excessive (and perhaps perpetual) feelings of being overwhelmed.  

I have been thinking about this lately because the Teaching Balance theme for this month is Slowing Down.  Since I chose this theme, it’s probably not surprising that I am an advocate for slowing down in a world where speed and busyness is lauded and praised as the ideal.  

So here is my dilemma:  I have a deep desire to slow down and savor the little things in life, to not overcommit and to let go of the things that don’t deeply enrich my life.   But, I also have a deep desire to grow, create, and take on projects that I feel passionate about.
In this month where I invite people to slow down, I have, ironically, found myself signing up to do the very opposite.  In the next three months, I will be working on writing a book.  The challenge, even before I begin, is trying to reconcile the extra work that this will require with my sincere desire to not get overwhelmed.  

My hope is that my passion for this project will fuel me so that it doesn’t feel like an excessive burden.  I aspire to be more strategic about my energy and time, turning down speaking opportunities and workshops for these next few months.  With the support of my meditation practice, I also will do my best to find a balance in my work-life integration, bringing a quality of lightness and humor to the undertaking.  

Wish me luck!