One of my favorite bloggers, Sara Cotner, is a pretty intense life-organizer. I first got to know her through her blog $2,000 Wedding, where she revealed her amazing talent for budget spreadsheets. She’s got all these wonderful weekly and monthly rituals for mapping her life, including her emotional health and her relationships. I’ll never be quite as fastidious as she, but I took a page out of her book yesterday and did a little check-in for the different areas of my life. I wrote a little bit about how I’m doing in each area. The categories I chose were:

  • Eating well (did I grocery shop? cook? eat a balanced diet?)
  • Exercise (am I doing enough good stuff for my body, to counteract all the computer time and violin time?)
  • Sleep (I need a lot)
  • Inner life/emotional health
  • My marriage (how are we getting along? are we having fun together? have I helped & supported Tyler enough this week?)
  • My relationships with friends and family (am I reaching out, and being reached out to? who do I miss seeing?)
  • Creativity (blogging, songwriting, journaling, even hanging up photographs on the walls)
  • My work (Q rehearsal, Q admin, practicing, teaching)
  • Money (no need to tell you how I feel about it this month …)

One thing I have to guard against pretty carefully is letting work define my entire life. If something’s stressful in my work, it can feel like my life is spinning out of control. Lately, I’ve gotten a little bit better at recognizing this and keeping it in check. Work, as it turns out, is not exclusively going to make me happy and healthy. What makes me happy is eating well, getting exercise, nurturing my marriage and my friendships, being creative, AND …. yes. Working hard at things I care about with people I care about.

What this reveals to a workaholic like me is that discovering an awesome new breakfast (blueberries, walnuts, yogurts & honey) is not an achievement to be scoffed at. Spending time planning meals (caprese sandwiches, corn & tomato salad) is not time-wasting or lazy. Slogging through gmail can happen on the train, but mini-yoga classes can’t. It’s called self-care, people. Nobody wants an ensemble member who is malnourished. Nor do they want one who is lonely and cranky. I’ve got such great friends, not to mention an absolute treasure of a husband, and I’m so much happier when I’ve spent enough time connecting with them. (I guess this is part of being an ENFJ.)