Life with Baxter: Lessons in Work-Life Balance

IMG_2721I have had a recent lesson in work-life balance. His name is Baxter. Well, Mr. Baxter Mills to be exact. He is a 4 month old Morkie – Maltese-Yorkie mix.

Prior to life with Baxter, I sat down to write anytime I wanted. I work from home for my day job too and I had become very comfortable with my schedule and life.

Then, along came Baxter. Here are 10 things I learned about work-life balance from this little ball of fur:

  1. Plans will change. In fact, sometimes, they simply should change. Roll with the punches. Not all personal or professional plans will work out how you “think” they should. The only thing in this life that is certain, is change.
  2. Change is good. I miss the lazy days when the other dogs laid around and I did not have to give them any attention. But, even after 4 days with this little guy, I would miss him if I hadn’t decided to embrace change and bring him home. When there are changes at work, try to be the voice of reason. Don’t complain. Embrace the change and make the best of it.
  3. All things (messes included) can be cleaned up! We all make mistakes. No worries. Clean up is a necessary process. You learn a lot from making mistakes.
  4. Discipline brings growth. This guy is 4 months old and has been with us 4 days. He already understands his name, how to sit and what “leave it” means. He did not learn this through only positive talk, he learned when I disciplined him. Discipline can be good. When you are given feedback that may not be what you want to hear, listen anyway. You just may be getting ready to grow!
  5. Taking a break – or 10 (for Baxter) – is okay. Rest is good! And, needed. I really needed him to remind of this lesson. At work, take time off. You need time away to rest and rejuvenate.
  6. Finding your tribe, your family, your community is like coming home, every day. We adopted this guy. He was the last of his litter to be adopted. His family was just other dogs who could not give him more. We provide love, discipline and comfort. Finding your home is a good feeling. Once your find where you fit in this world, both personally and professionally, invest in that place and those people.
  7. Be Inquisitive. You may fall off the bed from time to time. But, you have so much to gain. So, when you fall, jump back up and keep exploring.
  8. When they try to hold you down, climb the fence! This guy can’t be held down when he has his eye on something. He reminds me to keep chasing my dreams. Even if it means you have to climb the fence, chew through barriers or crawl on your belly. Never give up on your day dream.
  9. Trust is earned. He trusts me with all of his needs. I have shown him that I am worthy of his trust. Be accountable to others. Show them they can trust you.
  10. Play is good. Have fun! Chase leaves. Run like a wild man at all of the new things that come at you. Life is too short not to have fun.

Sometimes life and work lessons can hit you when you least expect them. Be open to learning. Be ready to take on the world each and every day.

 

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