I’m ashamed to say in all the time I’ve known Alissa I have never taken a photograph of her, so here I post an image she shared with me, taken by Brad Ford, of her at Amarillo Ramp.
I met Alissa through the Dallas Museum of Art. She has volunteered with the education department at the museum for eight years, and in my nearly four years working there, I have come to know her well. The thing that first struck me about Alissa was her straight-forward approach. She is an opinionated woman who is comfortable sharing her thoughts, and I respect and admire that about her. Perhaps because of this trait, I quickly learned of her passion for volunteering at the museum and her eagerness to help in any capacity. Alissa was always willing to stay a little late at her shift, help with crowd control, and jump in to assist with any program when needed.
It has been in the last two years that our relationship has grown from work acquaintances to a more meaningful friendship. We bonded over shared life experiences and I learned so much from watching how Alissa re-evaluated her priorities and made shifts in her life to let in more living. Her last year or so in Dallas, Alissa took up rock carving, learned how to do handy work around her home, and went on several impressive road trips around the United States. She made more time for the things she loves and stepped away from the things that caused stress.
Selfishly I was sad to find out she planned to return to her native Australia this fall, but as a friend I knew this move would be one more piece to the work/life balance we are all struggling to achieve. I’ve missed our Late Night and Saturday chats. I’ve missed learning new Australian phrases like bubbler, hills-hoist, and dob in. I’ve missed sharing our artistic endeavors. But most of all I miss Alissa’s smile and energy.
Of course technology helps to diminish the distance, and emails from Alissa always make me smile and fill me with inspiration. Tonight I received an important reminder that I will share with you here:
Remember the whole work life balance! Leaving work at work at a reasonable hour is critical to you being a success while you are at work. The work will never be done.
Yes, there will always be more work to return to, so leaving it for the work day is fine. It’s not just fine, it’s good for your soul.