Wednesday, January 24, 2007

To search for perfection is all very well, but to look for heaven is to live here in hell.

Well, in only 23 days I’ve managed to abandon my New Year’s resolution of rethinking the way I approach this blog. I had intended to blog less, and instead, focus more on a a couple of longer, higher quality posts per months rather than the sporadic burst of thought that this blog is now. However, I was kidding myself. I don’t have time in my life for long, well written pieces unless they are related to what I’m studying at the moment. And while I’m really exciting about personal jurisdiction and the 14th amendment, bilateral contracts, and the duty element in negligent torts; I’m pretty sure it would make for rather bland blogging.

At the heart of why I had made the resolution was an effort to fit this blog into it’s proper place in my life. To strike a balance with the time spend getting thoughts out of my head with cramming legal theories into it, to time spend gathering information online with time spend with my wife and dog. This issue of balance is one the most men/women face, the ancients Greeks were even pondering the subject and sought balance in life as a path to happiness. Yet, four thousand years later, the issue of balance is still one of the imminent questions of modern life, how does one achieve balance in life that will lead to happiness?

Recently, a local drivetime radio DJ was issued his own view on the subject. He had come to the conclusion that there are three competing compulsions/forces in a man/woman life and that balancing these is key to success. The three forces: work, family (& friends), and health. Unfortunately, he also said than in his near 50 years he never met any who could maximize all three, at the best a man could be successful in two of these fields. He held himself up as an example, he has excelled at work, he is in the most important time slot in a major market, as far as the radio business is concerned, he had made it to the top. He also said he was a good family man; a good father and loving husband. His health, well, he just didn’t have the time. He is a little overweight, he hadn’t run in years, and his blood chemistry is less than stellar. He also went on to say that if someone says that they have achieved success in all three areas, that they are liars. You could, according to this viewpoint, be good at all three and balance them, but you couldn’t be great in all areas, there just isn’t enough time or energy available to a mortal man.

I think there might be some credeance to the this man’s viewpoint. I think I am pretty happy, but I also think that I’ve managed to balance his forces.

Work. I have always been a good worker. I have always earned good grades, been hired into good jobs with decent pay, and received positive performance reviews. Now, back in school, I am a good student. My last round of test were A and B+s. I spend a good amount of time in the law library reading, prepping, and exploring issues beyond class. But, I now that I do hold back somewhat, I could spend more time, I could read and analyze more, and I could get straight A’s if only I gave a little more of myself to the process.

Family: I am a good husband. I love spending time with my wife, I try to listen, and I try to make her happy everyday. I also try to be a good son and brother. I call my parent every Sunday even when I don’t have anything to say or am truly not interest in what they have been doing (they are retired, every day is pretty much the same). I’m interest in what my brothers and sister are doing, I want them to do well, and I want to see them as often as I can. But, I could do better. I am not a very good friend. Currently, I get together with the guy maybe 4 times a year for dinner and via sporadic emails. I should call them more, I should reach out and try to involve them more in our lives, but I don’t. I have also not tried to expand my friend circle much since coming back to school. There have been opportunities: after class get together, kegs, recreational sports, and other event to draw the class together, but I’ve passed on them all to spend more time at home.

Health: I try to stay healthy. I try to run, swim and lift weights. As a former high school and college athlete, I’ve tried to maintain the healthy lifestyle I learned in school. But, there is more I could do in this area as well. I want to run a marathon, I need to lose some body fat, and I could always be stronger. I could achieve these goals. I could go to the gym every day, I could work hard each time I go, etc…But, I don’t. Sometimes, when I don’t feel like going, I stay home. Sometime, if I haven’t spent time with my wife or my school work is lacking, I’ll cut going to the gym out of my day.

I think, upon review, that I agree with this local radio personality. I could excel at school, my family, or my health, but to do so would require a sacrifice somewhere, I know I couldn’t do it all. But, I’m happy with the balance I’ve reached. I need to realize that I’ve accomplished enough, I have a good life, and to always remember that I could always to be better, but I don’t need to be perfect at everything. And, perhaps, perfection at everything wouldn’t be happiness at all.

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