The Career-Life “Balance” Result – Thanks Sloan Foundation!
It was a Sunday afternoon in New York … I was in town for a board meeting for the Sloan Foundation’s Mentoring Network, and I decided to go for a walk. As I passed stores throughout the streets, I passed a Michael’s craft store and decided to go in. I roamed around the aisles, thinking that I would buy some thick ribbon to string up some ballet flats, when I passed the clearance bins of yarn, and stopped in my tracks. I was mesmerized by the colors, and then remembered years ago, that my Aunt Merle (my mother’s sorority sister) had taught me how to crochet. With a skein of yarn in hand, I found the aisle with the needles and found the thick “K” needle that I remembered so well. I began a chain stitch right there in the aisle, as if I needed to prove to myself that I hadn’t forgotten such a basic foundation. Grabbing 6 skeins, I raced back to the hotel to start, and then crocheted a chain, and then a double stitch with complete random abandon. I ran out of yarn within a few hours, and literally ran back to the store to grab an arm full of additional skeins before they locked the door to close for the night.
The next morning, I mentioned my little endeavor to fellow board members, and they cheered me on. One person said that every break that I took, I earned 10 years ago, and that I deserved to treat myself and crochet. To that end, I began to crochet in the evenings, on buses, trains, and planes. This change of mindset was helpful, because so often, I’m opening my laptop as soon as we reach 10,000 feet.
Tonight I finished this … creation … whatever it is. Basically, I ran out of yarn. It’s just one piece, but it could be a half-blanket, or a really long scarf, or something …, anything! For fun, I made it into different shapes for these photos. In short, if you see me with it in a cold ballroom at a conference, or in a chilly board room during a meeting, know that as I am staying warm, I am being reminded that breaks are important, and I hope that in a small way, you will remember that breaks are good for you too.