I haven’t been writing as much as I’d like. That messes with my state of mind in a funny way but I’ve got a good reason for this. I am working harder now than I ever have in my entire life (at least I don’t think I have–or if I did, I have no memory of it). What’s funny, I have no judgement about this…it’s not bad…it’s not good…that’s just a fact.
I find myself starting to work early and bringing work home and then working on the weekends and feeling like I’m so close to catching up… but not quite. The smallest thing–an all-day meeting, a personal commitment that means I’m coming in late or leaving early, a company holiday–results in my being set-back once again and immediately I feel defeated (briefly, momentarily) and then I start to figure out how I will get the time back… Early mornings, late nights, working weekends. But I know this cannot sustain. My family, my health nor my marriage will allow it to go on forever.
The wacky juxtaposition to this wavering state of frenzied productivity is that I feel fortunate and I have good, even great days (there have also been icky ones)… I have friends and seen loved ones with job and career struggles. I started my career in a booming economy, saw the first Internet bubble and it’s subsequent burst. I spent the bulk of my career in a disrupted industry (name an industry that wasn’t) and was charged with leading and influencing change amid fear and unknowns. And in what someone else might of looked upon as chaos, uncertainty and instability, I found my corner of the sky. It was my playground. I witnessed innovation and unprecedented growth, I worked with incredibly talented people and feel great pride about all that was accomplished…and excitement at what is ahead. But it wasn’t all rosy, I also saw layoffs, restructures and got acclimated to living in a world of chaos and disorder. Disruption had become the order of the day and living at that frequency became my norm… how do you unring that bell? Perhaps that has effected–maybe even convoluted–my perspective… I feel like anything can happen–there is always someone talented and willing to do my job if I don’t or can’t deliver and I’m lucky to have an opportunity to earn a living and provide for my family–but it’s more like a cloud of fear than a halo of knowledge.
Although I’ve been told that this fear isn’t 100% irrational…it’s also not 100% correct either. It doesn’t consider or acknowledge the unique contributions (yes, we all bring unique and special gifts) I bring to the proverbial party. It doesn’t allow room for moments of quiet or opportunities to disconnect so I can “fill the well” as often as is necessary, and while it’s easy to call these “Luxury Problems” they’re not because they don’t just touch my quality of life, they impact others. Like every ‘other’ who comes into contact with me.
So I need to slow down, remember “no” is a complete sentence and take the time to do the things that make me a better person, woman, wife, mother, colleague. I need to stop trying to please, remind myself that my value isn’t diminished if that email or task isn’t addressed immediately… I am not a commodity or easily replicated. I need to take ownership, no one “did this” or “made me” think or feel this way, this was self-taught, so the flip side is I am empowered to undo what’s not working for me anymore. And none of this stuff can be rationalized… because it’s not rational.
And I need to remember to write. I miss it. I miss this. Pouring my thoughts into my WordPress and clicking “Publish.” Forget if anyone reads, likes, shares, links… This has made an incredible difference to who and what I have and want to become. And that matters.
Lead Image, “Fish Jumping” by courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.