I had a life changing event in 2004. Prior to that, my life priorities were straightforward...outside of family, my entire life revolved around my research. After that experience, I came to the realization that although I truly love my job, I wasn't completely happy with life. There were many things I wanted to accomplish and life was too short to focus so much on just one thing. I started doing triathlons shortly thereafter. Since then, triathlon has been a constant reminder to me of that life changing event...life is short and I need to maximize my happiness while I can.
Fast forward to 2008-2009...
I trained sporadically from Jan-Aug '08 because I was busy with work. I took 5 months off from Sep '08-Jan '09 because I was too busy with work. I started training for triathlons again in Feb '09 and once again felt happy and complete...reminded about that life changing event. Then I took 4 months off from May-Aug '09 because I was busy with work. See a pattern? As I finally got off my out-of-shape butt the other night to go on a run, I realized enough was enough. I was becoming the person I didn't want to be again. I love what I do for a living, but having it consume my life isn't what I aspire to do.
I am going back to being true to myself and the resolution I made in 2004. I am finding that balance again. More family time. Starting back up in triathlons. I still plan to be productive and do my job well, but the 55+ hour work weeks (and a few 75+ over the summer) have got to go. I'm going to do my job well, but I can only do so much. If this pisses people off that expect me to do more work, I'll feel bad about that. I don't want to disappoint anyone. But I'm just going to do what I can do from now on without sacrificing my personal and family time. And people are just going to have to deal with that.
My 3 mile run the other night was one of the slowest runs I've ever done, but I was as happy as could be.