10 weeks in

Towards the end of an internship two summers ago, one of my mentors took me aside and said,
The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to make a practice of reflecting on your life every few months: where you are, what you're doing, what sacrifices you're making, if your work is fulfilling, if you have balance, what you're doing with your free time, who the people are that really matter to you, if you're making them a priority, and if you're happy. 
When I was starting my career, I didn't do that. I wanted to be successful so I put my head down and worked. The weeks blurred into seasons and seasons into years until I woke up eight years later, a workaholic, not able to hold a steady girlfriend, not happy, and wondering what had happened to my life.
When I first heard my mentor say that, I didn't understand how someone could let that much time go by and not realize it. Weeks are long, and seasons (particularly Minnesota winters) worse, so years? Tough to fathom.

Today, however, marks a shifting perspective. As this day marks week 10 on the job for me--ten weeks that have absolutely flown--I now understand how skilled time is in the art of the disappearing act.

In that long-ago conversation, my mentor continued on to say,
If I would have taken the time to reflect, I would have figured out a lot sooner what was really important to me, what wasn't, and what I could do to change...and once I started paying attention to those things, everything fell into place.
While I can't say that balancing work and my life outside has been easy or that I've even been all that good at it (I really haven't been), I'm trying to take things a day at a time...

...one day at the Mill City Farmer's Market & Guthrie theatre...
...one Saturday spent "adulting" at my little brother's Eagle Scout Project site...
...one day hanging with one of my favorite bands...
...and one day running with 12,000 people in spandex for marathon #2.

If these past ten weeks have taught me anything, it's that my mentor was right about the paying attention--life-falling-into-place connection...and that's something I'm learning to appreciate more and more as I go.

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