So many of us found ourselves in this line of work because we wanted to help people (or animals or the environment), and we wanted to leave this world better than we found it. It is a noble cause and one I am proud to be a part of almost every day of my life. But that cause alone does not always make it fulfilling, worthwhile, or enlightening. There are days when the deadlines seem to come at me like a firehose. Days that my family needs me more than the words on an application. Days that I want to relax and unwind with a friend over a delicious chicken biscuit and cup of sweet tea. (It is the breakfast of champion in my neck of the woods.)
A few weeks ago, we discussed our annual Top Ten episode, bouncing ideas off each other for our list to share favorite things of the year. I had recently started a list while killing time waiting for my car’s oil to be changed and found that many of the items on my list had absolutely nothing to do with the grant world. I shared my ideas; Kimberly asked if we were okay with not sticking to topics that would be helpful to working grant pros, you know, things like tech tools, planning procedures, and funders who were fighting the good fight. It was a bit of a diversion from our typical top ten lineups, but my argument was this: 2021 has been just as crazy as 2020, and anything that brought joy and peace into my life was a benefit to my life as a working grant professional. She agreed, and it turns out we both had a healthy balance of work and life happiness to share with our listeners. We create the Fundraising HayDay podcast in addition to our regular day jobs, families to care for, households to manage, books to read, and episodes of the Great British Bake Off to watch, so you can imagine how easy it would be to let the demands of work and life stress us out to the point of exhaustion.
I figured out not too long ago that no one can have it all, but you can be happy with what you do have. Also, there is no right or wrong answer, one-size-fits-all solution, or magic bullet. The trick is figuring out the balance for your own life, and then you go for it.
If any of the top ten items Kimberly and I shared in our most recent episode of the podcast help you in your path to becoming (or maintaining) a healthy grant professional, then we are thrilled to be a small part of your journey. You can listen here: Season Four‘s Transformative Top Ten (podbean.com). So if the latest and greatest tech tool is your jam, then use the heck out of it. Put your walking shoes on if you find simple pleasures in a morning walk to clear your mind. If shopping is both your cardio and your therapist, splurge on those new pair of shoes. Mmmmmm, new shoes. Wait, I digress. But you get my point.
Find the thing(s) that bring you joy, give you a moment to catch your breath, and recharge your batteries. Then make those things a regular part of your life. Talk to your boss about the things you need to keep up the great work you are doing. I once had a boss who understood that sometimes a 20-minute catnap at your desk ensured good work the rest of the day (especially for a very pregnant, working mom), and he was all for it. I loved that boss. We need more like him. And until your boss suggests such a thing, we all must keep asking, keep fighting, for the things that make us happy, healthy grant pros.
DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services, LLC is so excited to be season 4 sponsors for Fundraising HayDay, a podcast about grants and such. Catch up on seasons 1 – 3 and stay up to date on the new season here.
Don’t let grants stress you out, check out the helpful grant writing services our team has to offer here.