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Partner Perspective

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, “You know, you’re just no fun anymore?” Suddenly, it’s not the job, clothes, or hair. It’s you. Whereas once you felt so alive in your own skin, now things are a little grey, a little removed; there are no major problems, but no major progress either. Like the comedian Steve Martin said, “You feel like the only Joy you find is in a dishwashing liquid.”

f you were to peel back the layers of roles in your life you would find that the most basic is that of an eternal intelligence, unique and wholly capable of doing and thinking amazing things. So often, our time, stretched to meet outside demands and obligations, is not allocated to the continued development of self.

“Hubbies” get confused for hobbies, and childrearing dominates choices. Symptoms of this (especially for stay-at-home caregivers) may include: babbling uncontrollably to unsuspecting people in grocery lines, going days (more than 2) without bathing, creating imaginary friends, and vacuuming obsessively.

If this is sounding familiar, maybe it’s time for a break from your usual routine. When I am feeling lost to myself I choose one of the following and it always helps. Consider:

 getting a haircut/free makeover
 revisiting childhood interests
 calling friends/family
 showing sincere service
 curling up with a favorite book/movie
 starting a new hobby
 having a good cry

Within a one or two mile radius of HBS campus you can find a library, several bookstores, an ice skating rink, a dance studio, a movie theatre, a shopping district, a fitness trail, a boat dock, several swimming pools, famous historical sites, not to mention tutorial services for languages, voice/instrument instruction, etc.. On-site, there are 67 HBS clubs to choose from!

So go ahead, rekindle that internal flame. You might be surprised at who starts to stare back from that mirror!

October 7, 2002
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