Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin

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So every few months I go through a period where some event triggers a movement within myself to make a change. Most recently it was the fact that a medication I was on gave me several panic attacks. If you've never had a panic attack before (as I had not, until a few days ago) - it's one of the most emotionally draining 3-minute-or-less experiences you can have. Think: uncontrollable weeping, the sensation of intense and irrational fear, accompanied by trembling and the feeling that you need to escape your own skin. Needless to say, I stopped taking the medication.

But it really made me think about how I've been living the past few months. I wake up, go to work, have dinner or don't, go to dance, go home or go to Ravi's, sleep. Wake, start over again. On the two days that I didn't have dance, I'd either hang out with Ravi or clean the mess I made in my room throughout the remainder of the week. An entire quarter at Google went by, and I measured my life in.. what? What did I do the past three months that I am proud of? Marginal victories at ballroom competitions, launching features at work.
I'm proud of the time I spent with people like Janet, whom I hardly see anymore despite the fact that she's one of the best friends I've got anywhere. I'm proud of the books I read. The time I've spent walking out by shoreline with Ravi, the hours I spent with my family.

I look at my current time allocations and it looks like this
Total hours in a week: 168
Hours spent sleeping: 54-58
Hours spent dancing: 10.5
Hours spent traveling to/from dancing: 6
Hours spent working: 40-45
Hours spent cleaning/doing laundry: 3
Hours spent commuting: 5

That leaves 45 hours for me to be doing other things. That doesn't include all those little time-suckers in between. Showering, brushing my teeth, getting gas, driving back and forth to whatever. But it meant that only roughly 25% of my time was spent doing the things that I was most proud of. Anyone else see a problem here?

I talked to my mom a little, to Ravi, to Dan and to Steph. I've been feeling a growing sense of discontentment with myself, one that I'm fighting everyday. There are two choices now: I can change the way I feel about the things I'm spending my time on, or change the things I'm spending my time on to things I feel strongly about. Generally it's more difficult to make mental shifts than schedule shifts, and I trust what my gut feels is important.

So here was the decision: Cut back on dance from 5 days a week to 3, cutting out was latin classes in SF and one day of practice per week with Ivan.
Don't work more than 40 hours a week. Go home at 6 pm!

That's already freed up 10 hours. Today initiates the first days of freedom. Not to say that I won't have a schedule :o) Those who know me also know that I already have the projects that will take up this "free" time - Milton and my brother and Julia's long-overdue quilt. The rest of the time I'd like to spend by being outdoors, driving to SF to see Janet, exploring the Bay Area better, the way I did with NY and DC and Chicago. Longer term, I want to start thinking about how I can start "Having a Ball" here in the Bay Area.

Here's to a new beginning, small though it may be, and movements toward being better at life.
Tags: about cs, ballroom, friendship, google, relationships, travel - usa and canada
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