I’m a full-time faculty member of the English department at Wayne State University, where I teach freshmen English courses in composition (my specialty!). I am also a full-time PhD student, gearing up for Qualifying Exams. Last summer, my husband and I welcomed our daughter, Beatrice, into the world. She is the smartest, cutest, funniest little person I know, and she has definitely added weight to the balance of everyday life!
When I was little, I took a tap-dance class where we were taught moves in rhythmic cadences like, “step-ball-change” and “heel-ball-toe.” The latter was a step that in one motion, had us touch the three parts of our foot to the floor in succession. It was like a step, but just broken down into smaller motions. When I practice yoga, or dance, or walk around the apartment with my daughter to calm her crying, I think of how my feet touch the floor in each step: heel, ball, toe. This awareness to each part of the motion can apply to my efforts to balance work, life and scholarship. Sometimes, the only way to “get” a complicated task is to break it down into smaller bits–a trick I teach my students when approaching their writing. A trick I am constantly using to juggle all the pieces of my full (rich, wonderfully-busy-and-full-of-love) life. One part of one step at a time. Heel, ball, toe.