When we were newly married, my husband took a job at a Fortune 500 company and stepped quickly onto the fast track. I made him promise he’d never let his work interfere with our homelife, that he’d never become a workaholic. And he hasn’t. Ironically, I’m the one who now fits that description. Lately I work nights and days and weekends. And when I’m not working, I’m mostly thinking about work, dreaming about it, obsessing over it. Sounds terrible, right? Actually it’s not so bad. Why? Because my work excites me. All of it! It also frustrates and annoys and baffles me sometimes, but that’s part of what makes it so intriguing.
That’s not to say I’m not concerned about my workaholic tendencies. Thirteen hours at a desk can wreak havoc on the body, for example, so I exercise every day, and I never work through lunch. No matter how busy or distracted I am, I take time to eat right. Long work days also put a strain on relationships. I make sure I’m at the dinner table with my family every night and that I plan time each week to spend with my husband and kids. And even though I love my work, I also love my downtime. When I need to rest my brain, I shut off all technology and watch a movie, read a book, or practice yoga. I never take my computer on vacation. Never. Whatever it is, it can wait two weeks until I get home. As a creative, I know that sometimes we need to get away from our work in order to gain new perspective, so I seek out new activities each month or reach out to meet new people. We can’t expect any one thing, not even our work, to fill every aspect of our lives.
I was one of those kids who never knew for sure what she wanted to be when she grew up. That lasted into my mid-twenties. The two things I knew for sure, though, were that I wanted my work to have meaning and I never wanted to be bored.I can’t remember the last time I looked at a clock and wished the hands would move faster. Now I wish I had a few more hours in the day. For me, that’s a blessing.