My friend Sheila bought this basket for me when I recently visited Colorado. Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s from a women’s cooperative in Ghana. Imagine me in the Denver airport with this as my carry-on. I got more than a few interesting looks, but in truth — pretty perfect luggage for a girl who calls herself African.

Metaphorically, my basket is overflowing. This new job, that in truth I took because I was suddenly unemployed and unsure, has become  a gigantic challenge in the best of ways. I’m working in a fast-paced medical practice with a team of smart, energetic, focused people who make me want to be my very best self everyday. I am thriving. The expense of this great new career, versus the job I thought I was signing up for, is a personal struggle to find equilibrium.

My previous two nonprofit jobs were, to put it mildly, far less demanding. I worked fewer hours and many of those which I did work were in stretchy pants on the couch labeled generously as “work from home.” This gave time for community dinners, ample sewing projects, household stuff and mental health breaks.

Now, I commute. I suit up. I work feverishly for 10-12 hours most days and I am never, ever caught up. Within my first two months I was promoted and given a new department to manage. Now I have two. I feel like I could use another set of arms  — one to type and the other to file, answer the phone, pat people on the back, etc.  While it’s taken a bit to get back in the habit of getting up at 4:30 am to squeeze in my morning run or swim, this return to routine is such a gift.

I work with people! In my office! Daily! I go on business trips. I have minimal authority and I use it wildly!

(Crazy the things you don’t realize you miss.)

So, I haven’t been blogging with the same fervor because my daily schedule has become a rinse and repeat of workout, work, read until I pass out. I think the last three months have shown I’m committed and willing to put in the air miles and time in the office to see my departments are successful. This week I’m going to find time to add the other elements of my life that make me truly shine — art, writing, gardening, dresses and a social life, time with friends and blogging.

Balancing the basket,