Saturday, November 5, 2016

Saturday Musings: It's Just a Job, Getting Life Back on Course

It took separation from my ex-husband, countless nights/mornings of crawling back to the elevator (barely making it to my unit), a major surgery, and hitting the wall of burnout for me to realize that I was too vested in work. I even too pride in the fact that I worked while on vacation. I loved the word "workation"!

Because that's how I rolled. I was a freelancer. I was passionate about what I did, and I could work wherever I was.

Put bluntly, I was a workaholic.


I believe there's nothing wrong with passion and being able to work wherever you want - I still believe in those ideas.

But working yourself to the bone, putting other elements of your life aside most of the time in the name of work, and incorporating work in almost every aspect of your life - it's a recipe for disaster.

A couple years later, I decided to purposefully break away from the cycle of working practically every waking hour. I became stricter with my work hours. Even though I was a freelancer, I tried to limit work hours, have "me time" in the evenings, closed the laptop on the weekends, and didn't work while on trips.

It changed my life.

I felt healthier - both physically and mentally. I got more things done, and I wasn't stressed all the time.

Fast forward to today.

It's almost noon on a Saturday and I've been working pretty much since I woke up around 8 AM.

Yup. I'm back where I was all those years ago.

Thing is, I consider reading a huge part of my job. I need to keep up with trends. I curate content. And today, I read two articles that served as a wake up call.

The first, These four words that may offend you ... may also just save you, made me think about thinking about what I do for a living as "It's just a job."

My first reaction was my mind screaming "Sacrilege"! I love what I do. I can't imagine myself doing anything else.

Then I read this paragraph.
“Listen, your passion should be your family, those around you that you love. You have to separate the two. There is not one of you that would not abandon your job for the sake of someone who you love and who needs you.”
I'm a bad at nurturing relationships, I acknowledge that. I like being alone, but I also know that the only times I have felt an outpouring of pure love - and gut-busting laughter - in the past year was when I was with my family and old friends.

Not when I was doing my job, which I am passionate about. So yeah, maybe it is just a job. Something I should put all my energy into during the week; something I focus on and give my best so I can spend the weekends without wanting/having to check email and everything else work-related doing other things. Anything but work.

Visit my family, go to the park, cook with the kids...watch Netflix all day long...read in bed...go to the beach...

Four words that will stay with me: It's just a job.

The second article, If You’re Too Busy For These 5 Things: Your Life Is More Off-Course Than You Think, talks about similar ideas.

These five things:

  1. Organizing your life
  2. Plan and invest in your future
  3. Tracking important metrics
  4. Prayer and meditation to reduce noise
  5. Move toward your goal every single day
Where do I even begin? I obsess about what I'm going to do for work tomorrow, or what I'm going to eat - but that's it. I can't plan beyond that. How can I plan and invest in my future? What future?

Organize? Yeah, I try. At least in this respect, I think I'm getting some headway. Thank you Google Calendar. Thank you "trying to live within my means, investing in experiences rather than material things project".

Prayer? Not so much. Meditation? Does DIY yoga count? (It does help me calm down.)

Goal? What goal?

It doesn't take a genius (which I am not) to realize that my life is way off course. 

The silver lining? Since I read that article to the end and am writing this post, maybe it's not hopeless.




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