Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's been too long to even make an excuse.

If it's any indication of how much (or little) time I have for myself, it takes a week-long vacation these days for me to find a few minutes to write. I'm sitting in the living room of my parent's house in AZ watching the news (about the bomb scares on cargo planes) after a relaxing day of bbq-ing, margaritas, and pool-side sunbathing. If a week of relaxation and uber-laziness has convinced me of anything (apart from convincing me to make a living out of being retired), it's that life exists outside of New York. I know I'm on vacation and I fully appreciate that this is not real life. But I'm not in an exotic hut on tahiti with gorgeous waiters catering to me, waking up to birds chirping, sipping my coffee while watching waterfalls and hiking through the rainforest (any ideas on what my next trip should be, anyone?). My trip is pretty close to the reality of lots of regular Americans who don't live in the big city. I'm sleeping on a slowly deflating air mattress in the living room of my parent's "villa" in a retirement community outside of Phoenix and have been waking up to the sound of coyotes (KAY-otes) rummaging through the back yard at 5 a.m. This is real life, folks. It's easy to forget that anything else exists when I'm living in downtown Manhattan, surrounded by corporate America, aspiring super models, future actors and actresses of Hollywood, all the crazies that could only ever exist in New York, and everything in-between. Here in AZ, people start their work days at a reasonable hour, play golf on weekends and head to happy hour at 3 p.m. That's not to mention the drier air, cleaner streets, well-manicured homes (that require less maintenance) and an overall healthier, less stressful lifestyle (they don't even have to mow the lawn and dog-poo bags are conveniently stationed at intervals on the sidewalk). So why do we all fight to survive in NY, when we could live somewhere the sun always shines, where our money goes farther and our lives could be more play and less work? And I don't mean just AZ ... those three (important) considerations apply to most European countries and many places in the states apart from NY and maybe a few other cities. I love New York and have no intention of leaving any time soon, BUT, I'm just saying, there are some tradeoffs to living in the center of the world.

I have a post-vacation resolution: don't let work consume my life. That means balance the long hours better than I've been doing. So more running, more sleeping, more active social life and less 3 a.m. "oh no i forgot to do that for tomorrow!" mini heart attacks. What I'm really saying is, who's free to meet for a drink? Ultimately, my long term goal would be to incorporate something else into my life... maybe joining a soccer team, volunteering at an underprivileged elementary school or possibly studying for the GMAT. But first I need to handle what's already on my plate without going completely nuts (and without resorting to a 4 p.m. candy break to get my energy levels back up).

Time to start my new book - At Home by Bill Bryson. If I check in within the next 3 months, you'll know I'm getting better at work-life balance!