Tag Archives: Challenge

Working mom takes on a challenge

 

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Like most working mothers, I try to juggle work and family as best as I can. Recently, I decided I want to finish my master’s degree that I started many years ago, before I had children. To do so, I learned I would have to take my Graduate Record Exam (GRE) again.

When I saw the GRE practice tests, my first reaction was HOLY MOLY! That was followed by, “No way can I pass this test!” The math problems involved formulas I haven’t seen for 30 years such as the circumference of a circle and the area of a rectangle. The test has algebra, word problems, geometry. I was completely intimidated. I worried how I would ever find the time and energy to re-learn math concepts.

When I sat down to study, I felt overwhelmed. When I took practice tests, my first time around I got almost every problem wrong. But I was committed. I started to look at the exam differently. I know I will never need to know the circumference of a circle or the volume of a cube after the test is over, but I was proving to myself that I had the ability to learn new things. For the last month, I have spend every spare moment learning how to do math problems and memorizing difficult vocabulary words.

Today I took the actual exam and it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Learning difficult material at 50 years old is one of the biggest challenges I have taken on. Yet, I’m so glad I did because I proved to myself I can handle a challenge.

If you’re thinking of taking on a challenge — academically, professionally, personally —  go for it. It’s a great sense of satisfaction knowing that personal development and work life balance are compatible.

What challenge will you take on before 2016 runs out?

 

 

 

The Challenge of Returning from Summer Vacation

 

Return from vacationThis week, I returned from a two-week vacation. I know that's a luxury for many workers and I feel fortunate. But what I didn't count on is how difficult it would be to return. 

Yes, I feel refreshed as most experts say workers will be after time off. Vacation regularly is touted as the key to work life balance.  I completely agree.

But I put a lot of small things off as I prepared for my vacation. And, because of the difficultly getting WiFi abroad, I also put off responding to email during my vacation. So now, I return to hundreds of emails and other work responsibilities and I long to be in the carefree vacation mindset.

Not only did I put off work tasks. I put off home tasks too. My son needs a haircut. The fish tank needs to be cleaned.

And here I am…longing to be at a hotel relishing a buffet breakfast.

Has the return from vacation ever been this difficult for you?

Jet lag hasn't made the situation any better for me. Yesterday, I feel asleep face down on my laptop.

I know the answer to my return from vacation blues would have been to get more done before I left and tend to my emails during my vacation. Instead, I thoroughly enjoyed my vacation, stayed in complete vacation mindset, and I'm paying for it now.

Life is always a trade off.

As of today, I'm looking forward….no more pining for my carefree days of vacationing abroad. In the work life balance equation, I'm going to focus on work now. However, I just may reward myself with a night swim if I have a productive day.

How have you handled returning from a longer vacation? Is there anything that made the transition back to work easier for you? 

The Work/Life Balancing Act