I have been a Workaholic most of my adult life. It started in college with a double major and 2 jobs and just never stopped. Part of it is in my nature, something I was born with, I am a Capricorn, a mountain goat, always pushing up and up. I also know I am a product of my western environment and our addition to productivity.
It is all around us, coming from so many different directions. There is even this sense of guilt when we try and be still,
to the point that for a very long time I didn’t know how to simply relax. I forgot how to enjoy something simple, to feel the joy in the little things in life. And you know what? Maybe they really are not the little things in life, maybe they really are the big things, the important things. Sitting and talking with each other, having coffee and listening to the stories, the laughter, the pain and the everyday life of those around us.
Being with others, helping others, loving them really well. This is made up of all of those “little things”. But us productivity addicts tend to put those things below the work, below accomplishing things, and building things.
Children make you slow down in this way.
On so many other levels they make you much busier than you have ever been, but in this way, they slow things down. They are learning the most basic of things, and you have to be in that moment with them. I am no longer able to work constantly the way I used to; no longer able to make work the main priority in my life. Gone are the days I could put in 16 hours a day on a regular basis.
Part of it is that I have a new very important job helping to shape another human being. The rest of it is that I know that eventually, you burn out, it is not a sustainable way to live.
If you think about it, it ends up not being the most productive option if you get burnt out and are not producing your best work anymore anyway.
I have come a long way in the last 3 years since my daughter was born, and since we moved from the coasts to the south where there is a different pace of life. The addiction is still there in many ways. It is something I fight almost every day. When Fiona wants me to watch her jump on one foot over and over again, and I struggle not to pick up my phone and check my email.
I really do. But other times I am actually able to sit and play with Playdough and actually enjoy it. I have found some things that we can do together that don't make me crazy. Stay tuned for part two of Confessions of a Recovering Work-A-Holic where I will tell you about some of these activities if you are struggling with the same thing!
Just a few years ago I couldn't even sit on a beach without thinking what is the point of this, and now I cherish the few moments I can relax watching my daughter dig in the sand. So only God knows the progress I will make in a few more years. Maybe I will even leave my phone at home sometimes...maybe. ;)
Look at that face! Play with me mommy she says. Well I suppose work can wait...
Edited with Hot Air Balloon from the Americana Lightroom Presets Collection