Dealing with Life Changes / A Personal Reflection

Thursday, May 09, 2024 8:56 PM | Anonymous

by Drew Jahr, Texas Tech University

Change is a fact of life and dealing with it can be difficult for anyone.  For me, to truly deal with the change, I find that I need to do a lot of self-reflection to determine what is causing me the difficulty. Recently for me, change has come from a lot of different directions. Being the President of SWACUHO came with a lot of responsibilities and follow up. Now that role has concluded, and thus I have experienced a lot of change within my priorities and how I organize my time. It has left me a little confused on how to re-focus my energies. 

Another major change I have been addressing has been changes within my department. Last year, we went through a major re-organization, and I needed to spend significant time setting the vision for my department and supporting my team through the associated changes. I also found myself re-focusing the value I place on my work. My work is what I do, it is not who I am. This was a realization that recently hit home for me. It has been a struggle but rewarding as I have continued to work on myself. We all struggle from time to time, but it is how one bounces back that truly matters. Do you allow the changes to overcome your life or do you take the changes as potential successful opportunities to learn and continue growing as a professional.

Recently, I decided to make a commitment to re-evaluate my view on life and work. It was truly something I had needed to do for many years, but I never took the time to do it. I made excuses such as not having the time, or something else was more important.  Ultimately, I never did it. Several years ago, I had a colleague tell me “No one ever put on their tomb stone 'I wish I could have worked more!'  Another colleague asked me “Do you want to work to live or live to work?” These comments did not mean much at the time they were shared, but now they have progressed to being front and center on my mind.

For those that don’t know, last year I went on a river cruise to celebrate the 50-year wedding anniversary of my parents. During that time, I was able to do some self-reflection and not be disturbed by work. I realized I want to work to live, but I am currently practicing live to work. I find that it seems like all I do is work. Even when I am not at work, I work. While I do get enjoyment out of the work I do, I know it is not a healthy way to live one's life.

Now comes the challenge that I need to address.   What does one do about it? The work still needs to get done and the philosophy of working to live should not be an excuse for not getting things completed and being seen as dependable in the workplace. While I am early in this journey, I hope that I can find that balance in my life. Time will tell. If anyone else is going through a similar journey, I wish you well.  Should you want to connect and share your journey and tips that you have found successful, please reach out.

Southwest Association of College & University Housing Officers

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