The ever elusive work-life balance

How do you do it all? How can manage to do so many things and still look like you’re having the time of your life? We often hear those questions thrown to the uber-successful people in the world. Think of Sheryl Sandberg for instance, she is a mother of two, Facebook’s COO, author of the book Lean In and empowers women to take charge of their career and personal lives.

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These type people motivate me. They are inspiring because despite the fact that they are busy with their personal and professional lives they are still able to do something for others, something that will benefit the world. I aspire to be like them too (I don’t have to be CEO of a multi-billion corporation), to be able to excel in all aspects of my life while impacting the lives of others (in a good way). So I would tell myself to focus and work as hard (or probably twice) as they do and manage my time well. The question is: How do I attain the ever elusive work-life balance we are all aspiring for?

When I decided to pursue MBA, I know it will not be easy. My job itself was already taking so much of time so taking a graduate degree proved to be one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. To be frank, I would sometimes feel overwhelmed by my work and studies and I feel burned-out. While I have no problem separating one from the other, there would be instances where I am forced to choose between staying late at the office to catch with paper works or go home early to start on my growing pile of school works. There was even this one time that I was tired both physically and mentally, I found myself asking “What the heck am I doing with my life. Why do I have to do all of these?” Then I would remind myself that I love what I am doing and it is just the exhaustion talking and I will be fine after a good night’s sleep.

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To counter fatigue and stress I read a lot, pray regularly and dedicate a day for my “ME time”. Reading is my magic carpet, my rabbit’s hole, my time machine. Reading makes me forget the present and be someone and somewhere else. Prayer is my meditation and also serves as a reminder to myself of the things that truly matter. Me time is a day when I unplug both from work and studies; no Wi-Fi, no emails, no social networking sites. The only activity scheduled is going to the church.  I would sleep, read, eat, watch my favorite TV series to my heart’s content.  This is the day when I just I don’t think about work, study or any stuff that grown-ups have to deal with all the time.  You can say that it’s my form of escape from the crazy, complicated world we live in. This is when I emotionally, physically and spiritually cleanse myself.  After that I am good to go and ready for “battle” again.

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I do other stuff to balance my life aside from those three very reclusive activities. I do have family and friends after all.  I travel from time to time and go out with friends. It’s just that I crave silence after a week of chaos. I love my life and how crazy it can get but to balance it out I need the serenity that solitude brings.

My life is a work in progress and for some it might not appear balanced at all but I love it. I aspire to be a Sheryl Sandberg in my own way someday, but for now I am just enjoying the ride.  My studies challenges me and I take pride in my job.  They make me happy and give me a sense of fulfillment and I think at the end of the day that’s what matters the most.

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