The Balancing Act


Imagine an old fashioned circus. The tent arches high overhead, and three separate rings are arrayed across the sandy ground. Acrobats are flipping and flying in one ring while clowns crowd into a car in a second. The third ring has something equally exciting and daring inside clamoring for your attention. You want to watch all three of them, but you can’t.

Or can you?

I feel like I’m in the middle of those three rings. Graduate school has completely blown me out of the water (the work load is nothing like undergrad). Family, friends, schoolwork, my novel, blogging, singing, exercise, Notre Dame football, my own sanity–these are all rings that I’m trying to watch at the same time.

I’m not very good at it. Yet.

The many hours I spend with my classmates will, if left unchecked, push aside everything else that I love. My professors have a piece of advice for us all: “Don’t stop doing what feeds your soul.” This advice is wonderful in theory, but as is usually true with advice, hard to implement. It’s hard to take the time to read a novel while the hours I need to spend with my notes rack up.

I’m giving myself a few weeks to get my footing. This long Labor Day weekend has gone far in helping me prepare myself for the next few months. If you haven’t heard from me in a while, I’m probably neck-deep in textbooks. Give me a call/text/tweet/etc to pull me up for air, but please, please, please don’t be hurt if I can’t talk because I have to study. I’ve only just begun my balancing act, and it is one I think I will have to continue to work on throughout my life.

The dilemma between whether to run at the gym or go through that powerpoint again may not be as exciting as a circus–though I do tend to eat like an animal if you put dark chocolate in front of me–but it has vast implications. Give me time, and I’ll be balancing plates on a rod with one hand while riding a lion around a motorcage.

On second thought, that sounds terrifying. I’ll just be curled up in a corner over here with my laptop typing away at a new chapter. Preferably with tea.

How do you “feed your soul”?

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