When do you take on challenges and when do you take time to rest?
This was another morning hike taken in the usual place I go. The location is close to where I live and while the hike is moderate, the view from the top is always a satisfying to see. This time, I decided to take a different route to get to the top. The trail marker stated the path as being difficult, but I was ready for the challenge.
I think in life, I often do this, taking the challenging route, because I know the obstacles I will face will help me to grow. So I began the hike, and was shortly faced with a much steeper ascent than the way I would normally go. Rather than a multitude of switchbacks easing up the side of the hill, the steep trail was peppered with rocky stretches requiring more climbing than hiking. The difficult trail was a shorter distance, but the time it took to get to the top was longer and a lot sweatier. But I loved it, this test of skill and perseverance.
Sometimes I think grad school is like this rocky path. At times, there are smooth and uncomplicated stretches. And at other times, there are stretches with obstacles to face at every turn. As with many things in life, short cuts can be taken and easier routes uncovered. And there is not anything necessarily bad with taking an easier route. At times, we need those periods of rest, so we can recharge and not be burnt out. This past month of summer break has been like this for me, a chance to recharge before my second year in grad school begins. At other times, we need to take on challenges, to grow and improve on the skills and knowledge we currently have.
Finding balance . . .
When and how we take on challenges and times of rest will look different for every person. But I think it is important to do both. Too much challenge can lead to burnout and too much rest can lead to complacency. The trick is finding the balance in daily life.
I start classes next week and I’m looking forward to the upcoming events. But I want to enjoy the last days of summer break as best as I can. How do you find the balance between challenges and rest?