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News > Commentary - Striking a balance
Striking a balance

Posted 10/8/2010   Updated 10/8/2010 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Lt. Col. Therese A. Bohusch
Medical Operations Squadron commander

10/8/2010 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- Nine months ago I stood before my squadron and confessed my New Year's resolution: to achieve better balance in my life. I reflected on my priorities: family, friends, fitness, life and job satisfaction and fun. And I took stock of how things were aligning and started to make some changes. Why would I admit in public to needing better balance? January was a little too heavy on the job satisfaction and a little too light on other priorities. Many times I wished for an extra hour to catch up or sleep in, forget getting ahead. In announcing the resolution, I made a commitment to myself and my Airmen to continually assess priorities and re-balance.

Sometimes a shift in priorities is required. As I sat down to write this commentary, I considered the many other things on my to-do list: spend time with my husband, exercise, catch up with friends, finish my board re-certification, go surfing, call my parents and prepare the unit for the CI/ORI. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. I needed a re-balance to fit this is in!

Because the Air Force is team-oriented I often find myself and other leaders using sports as a reference point for achieving balance, leadership lessons and getting the best from our Airmen and ourselves. The most helpful piece of advice I ever received came in the form of a mountain bike lesson. My husband took me mountain biking for our first date and I wasn't prepared for the required agility and balance. While I was brushing off leaves and dirt, and counting bruises on this and the many rides to follow he gave lots of advice. For a while it was like I had a magnet in my front tire for every rock, root, stump and rut. On one ride, my husband suggested: "look where you want to go." He went on to explain that if I wanted to avoid the obstacles, I had to look ahead down the trail and ignore the obstacles. Of course, he was right and it was simple - I was looking right at that rock, stressing out about hitting the rock and my bike just followed my lead. How profound was that advice? Look where you want to go.

As it turns out, October is a good time to reassess priorities and balance and to look where we want to go. Maybe you've heard about a little inspection coming up? You're wondering when you have time to think about priorities and balance. We've all been focused on the obstacles to a successful inspection, resolving the obstacles and sustaining an obstacle-free environment. It's easy to get distracted by the rock in the middle of the trail, no? There are valuable lessons to learn from obstacles, but we soon need to shift our priority to riding the trail look where we want to go. Brush off your own priority list and bump that up against your to-do list; and consider the balance, or lack thereof. To keep my commitment I'll be shifting the balance toward a little more exercise and family time...very soon.

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