Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Long Night

Some might call it dedication. Others might call it insanity. I'm currently struggling on 4½ hours sleep after doing another all-nighter, going to bed at 6:00am just as Hubby's alarm was sounding for him to get up.

Every time I do an all-nighter I keep telling myself that's the last one. This year is a record—three all-nighters—two in the last fortnight.

I am currently working on a project where my friend and I need to produce seven guides, six of them by June 30. We developed an information plan with assumptions around the size of the guides, the complexity of the tasks we were to document, and the availabillity of the information. The problem? Our assumptions were not met and the scope and the size of the guides grew but the program manager said we could not have more time or people and we were to retain the same quality and detail as that of the work we had already produced. Something had to give and that was our personal time.

I know there are times when I have to work long hours to meet a deadline but this is absolutely crazy. How can we apply the principles of karma yoga—for example, equanimity, efficiency, lack of expectation—in a situation like this? Is there a way to balance these ideals with the ‘expectations’ of our working reality?

And what drives me to work all night? I could say it is to meet a deadline but is there a deeper reason? An attachment to my work? An expectation on the outcome?

“There is no man on earth who can fully renounce living work, but he who renounces the reward of his work is in truth a man of renunciation.” ˜Bhagavad Gita XVIII.11

I think it is difficult to not be attached to your work when you need to report your status each week and your progress is marked against a point in time. There is so much more to life than these guides but it is hard to see that when I'm caught up in the hubbub of a high-focus project.

My teacher has talked about her yoga practice keeping her sane, letting her focus on her studies and work, and helping her juggle her life. And I've read many articles where people claim that yoga brings them balance or union. I just find that when my life starts spiralling out of control, one of the first things that goes is my yoga practice.

And maybe that drive to work all night is the reason I can't get started. I want to leap back into a full practice (for which I don't have the energy) instead of easing back in with, say, a yoga nidra? Hmmm ... something to sleep on tonight?

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