The 5-to-9 Microadventure

I fear that in the work-life balance triangle, career-relationships-self care, I have hypothetically circled work as one of my designated (you can have two, but not all three). My “millennial” mind rages at the choice. However, at the same time, people ask, “How are you, what’s new?” and I reply, “Oh, nothing, just working.” Where do we lose ourselves in this routine? Why can’t we have all three?

I feel that most people my age are caught up in the hustle of trying to advance in their job, continue friendships and keep their newly-built families happy. But where does self-care fall, the one that gets thrown to the wayside most of the time, at least for me?

In reality, “oh, nothing, just working,” is a lie.

What happens in the 5 to 9? How about the 60 hours between 6 pm Friday Happy Hour and the 6 am Hell of Monday’s alarm clock? That’s a lot of time not to be checking emails and to be free of the grasp of work.

I create my own microadventure. Some days, I hike with my dog. I am trying to walk every trail on the park map. I am going to complete the 52 Hike Challenge one of these years. Other days, I am working out to get ready for ski season so I don’t repeat what happened this season. Squeezing in Arizona to visit my best friend. Touring the hell out of a bunch of National Parks. Planning trips to local parks. Why does “just working” come out of my mouth?

Maybe it’s so people can relate. I used to get upset about how I don’t have many friends who enjoy skiing anymore, or the thought that nobody wants to hike with me. My problem was, I never asked. With the belief that people are caught up in their jobs, I also believe that not one of my friends would say, “no” to a 2-hour hike. In fact, I know a few acquaintances would me more than happy to join me on the slopes for the day. If I told people what I was doing, they’d probably come. It may take some coaxing to get out of their work state of mind, and even more so to unplug, but I’d love to inspire others that think they just can’t, to take a microadventure of their own. 

Backyard camping with a pool and a tent.

After all, you can have one out in the backyard, no traveling required. This is my kind of 5-to-9. Get out there and enjoy it.

This post was inspired by this article from the editor of Outside Magazine.

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