Did I mention that my work commute is 50 miles each way? It's a journey that can take an hour or two or three. It all depends on day, time, weather, and how much the universe wants to screw with me at any particular moment.
Thank goodness for podcasts. I have a few special favorites:
* Get-It-Done Guy
* Grammar Girl
* Car Talk
* NPR Fresh Air (as well as All Things Considered, This American Life, etc.)
* The Onion Radio News
My fabulous pod friends help pass the time whilst also teaching me how to "work less and do more" and how not to butcher the English language. (Mind you I am known to break the rules intentionally. Creative license and all that.) Thanks to podcasts, I also know what to do when my 'check engine' light comes on and am fairly current on the world around me, both real and satirical.
It's a beautiful thing indeed. Particularly since drinking while driving is illegal. I need something to keep my mind off the long parade of brake lights, horn honking and other related annoyances.
So, yesterday I was wading in an endless sea of cars, all also heading north for the long Labor Day weekend. I found myself fantasizing about a world where there is a "fast lane" for people who actually need to get home vs. those who are in no real hurry except to swim, cook meat and drink beer all weekend.
Luckily, Terry Gross at NPR came to my rescue with a Fresh Air rebroadcast. Perhaps technically a rebroadcast podcast; a 2009 interview with Andre Agassi. (I'm tempted to clarify "the tennis star" after his name but seriously, who doesn't know that?)
Although I never read his memoir Open, I remember the swirl around the drugs, the pain and the myriad of relationships, including his overly-driven father and one Blue Lagoon actress. And of course, the hairpiece which always makes me think of Gallagher, who had a similar pseudo-coiffure.
Agassi was talking about his coach, Gil, whom he described as both his physical trainer and his "soul trainer." (Love that!) Early on, Gil questioned why Andre was doing the kind of training he was doing. Specially, why he was running five miles a day when the game of tennis was about constant starting and stopping; a totally different set of skills and muscle conditioning. Gil got him to start focusing on working the muscles and skills which were in alignment with the game he wanted to win.
It made me think about the kind of fitness conditioning I do every day. (Yes, I am using the phrase "every day" very loosely.) Does my workout routine align with the needs of my life? I don't play tennis or any sport for that matter but even normal life has physical demands. For example, I need to have enough energy to work 15 hours straight if needed, be able to sit without back pain for long periods of time and lift / carry a fifty pound child. Sometimes two.
I also have this weird goal to live and enjoy said heavy children for as many years as possible.
To achieve my goals, I clearly need to engage in activities which build endurance, core strength and overall health.
Although Agassi was talking about physical conditioning, you don't have to be Oprah to make the connection about how this applies to the mental, spiritual and emotional as well.
In my life balance methodology, "Personal Strategic Management" my mantra is that true life balance is internal.
That means that my thoughts, words and actions all need to be in alignment. For example, if I exercise an hour a day but then look in the mirror and say, "Holy crap, my legs look like cottage cheese!" or "I am SO tired. Look at these bags!" Not in alignment.
It's kinda like drinking a diet coke with a donut.
Tying it back to the Agassi thing... what I say, think and feel has to be working towards the "muscle tone" of my mental health and happiness, in the same way that my fitness routine needs to meet the physical demands of my life.
So, food for thought:
Do the activities you engage in every day support your mental, physical, emotional, spiritual goals?
Do your thoughts, feelings, words and actions put you in the position to win at the game of life?