Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Rhythm of (My) Life

Yes, I come up with the titles for my blog posts before I sit down to write them.  Yes, they take me days.  Yes, I have a bunch of half-written posts that will never see the light of day.  This was meant to be a blog about the struggles and joys of a twenty-something who works full-time and is getting her MBA.  It has turned into my journal.  If you're still reading, I thank you. If not, I wrote this mostly for myself anyhow. 

Now, back to what's been going on. 


Ok, I take that back.  Not quite nothing, but after a relaxing month off I'm finally back to the rhythm of my everyday life.  And it feels good.  For now.  This week I spent approximately 16 hours in class and 40 at the office.  And four in my car.  I also had brunch with a friend, went grocery shopping, did homework, ran, went to yoga and slept.  I promise you, there's not much time for anything else. 

It's nearly 11pm (bedtime anyone?) and I'm at a complete loss as to where the evening went.  I left work at a VERY decent hour (5pm is the earliest anyone should be allowed to leave a full time office job, even when most of the brokers are partying it up in Madrid and leaving me alone), ran two errands, picked up dinner, returned a few emails and then scarfed down a salad in front of my DVR in between a quick phone call to Mom and an hour-and-a-half long phone call with a group member and our tutor.  There are still dishes on the rack that are clean but haven't been put away, dress pants that haven't been ironed for the week, a lunch that hasn't been packed, half a chapter of Entrepreneurial Finance that hasn't been read and a pile of clothes that haven't been folded.  But here I am, writing a blog post instead of editing the first part of a business proposal or developing the models for our business simulation class.  Girlfriend needs an outlet sometimes. 

Round and round and round she goes.  Where she'll stop...nobody knows!!!

Sometimes I feel like a wind-up toy.  I have no idea how anyone does this with a significant other or children... or heaven forbid both.  This weekend was basically the calm before the storm.  The last weekend until March that I was able spend late evenings and lazy days with a glass of wine in hand and good friends in tow.  The end of January into February brings intense studying and writing sessions, weekend days spent almost entirely on campus and lots of "to do" lists. 

For some reason, I've always felt like I could do anything I wanted to.  Like the hours in the day were not a limiting condition of my success or happiness.  Not until today was I ever forced to rethink that approach to life.  I am currently taking three classes, start an extracurricular commercial real estate (four week!) seminar in two weeks, and am contemplating spending 16 hours this weekend on campus learning about private equity and M&A modeling instead of with a friend who is in town between her stints as a nanny in Sweden and a farmer in Australia. 

And frankly, I like both my sleep and my sanity.  I can't decide if I should keep barreling forward with reckless abandon (hey, I've been successful thus far with my proclivity for over scheduling.  And it's not like I'm training for another half marathon at the moment), or take a step back in order to preserve what's left of my inner peace.  I mean, there's a lot I can't NOT do.  I must take three classes until the beginning of March.  I must write business plans, read textbooks, work, blog, and shower.  I even have to take that commercial real estate seminar because I know it will be good for me, despite its "time suck" factor. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Obligatory New Year Post

This blog post is obligatory in that we get to write about resolutions, plans, thoughts and reflections once a year.  It's like the holy grail of blog posting; a free pass to tell you exactly how I feel.  

I haven't blogged in a few weeks because I shut off my laptop and traveled two thousand miles to the blustery Midwest.  I didn't look at my bank account balance, I didn't check my emails (well I have a Blackberry, so I kinda did), I ate tiramisu, cookies and popcorn for breakfast and tried my very very best to just relax. I tried to not have plans, to go with the flow, to not worry about relationships, school, running or anything else that haunts my daily thoughts. 

And I feel good.  I feel like a week and a half away from my routine gave me space to be calm.  The massive amounts of alcohol, sledding with little ones, a spectacular day with my mother on Michigan Avenue and quality time with old friends and new family didn't hurt either.  Going "home", luckily, has been more of a respite for me than it ever was.  Being away for the better part of a decade has given me much needed perspective and appreciation of what I have and what I came from.  My independence has empowered me and while it is often scary, it one of the most important things I've ever achieved.

Most years I feel like a broken record with my resolutions.  More whole (real, fresh) foods.  Less Diet Coke, more running.  Fall in love, be free.  Go to the gym.  And while most people want to be less in the new year (weigh less, consume less), this year I vow to be more.  More me.  To give more, to see more, to breathe more, to sleep more, to find more peace.  To love (without cynicism and fear) and travel more. 

Now that's a pretty tall order.  And it definitely includes seven more months of my MBA, a full-time job, a set of incredible friends, that spectacular gym membership and lots of salads.  But hopefully it also includes a little yoga, maybe some meditation, good restaurants, a museum or two, and lots of determination.  By the end of 2011, I will have a very fancy (and expensive) degree, a new job and maybe even a new city.  I'm excited, scared, nervous and thrilled about all of the things I am lucky enough to experience in the next twelve months.  Bring it on!!!