I work too much.
I. Work. Way. Too. Much.
I’m at the tail end of a 21 day stretch. That means I have not had a day off since February 2nd. I’ve worked every single day including overnights and early mornings, anywhere between 6 hours/day to 12 hours/day. As you’re reading this, I am getting off a 12 hour shift and I have 48 hours of time off.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and my stretch-ability in the past 21 days. I want to share this with you not only because it will make a good blog post but as a good reminder when I’m ready to jump feet first into two jobs again next fall why I might need to reconsider.
- I can DO anything. I can physically make my body arrive on time and make myself do the things I need to do. I can stay awake a full 12 hours after working an overnight. THAT DOESN’T MEAN I SHOULD. That doesn’t mean that I should. That doesn’t mean that I should. That also doesn’t mean I’m doing a good job or that I’m pleasant to be around or that I’m truly present. It means that when the going gets tough, so do I. That doesn’t mean I should.
- If you don’t prepare, you won’t be prepared. Remember my blog post about productive days? It is still one of my most popular posts – I’ll link it below. How can one possibly prepare for 21 straight days of work? The answer is: you can’t. So you’re not prepared. The laundry is never ending, fast food is so much easier than meal prep at 4 am before work, heck I didn’t even have enough time to leave Craig a to do list.
- Time home is time spent wishing you were sleeping. I have no energy to give my family when I get home. We sit on the couch and watch TV together and go to bed by 8 pm at the latest. That’s not living. That’s not fair to the boys.
- Marriages need maintenance. When I’m always gone and running and swinging between one job and another, Craig and I barely have enough time for hello and goodbye and handing off the boys. There is no room for a date night or real conversation beyond the “need to know” like “HI! has Gannon pooped? Was Carver good at daycare? Can you empty the pop cans? Supper is in the fridge. BYE!” That’s not fun for anyone.
- That’s not fair to the boys. Period. It just isn’t.
I’m not just aimlessly working this strenuous amount of hours for nothing. Craig and I have some serious financial goals we are CRUSHING this spring and plan to have $14,000 more dollars to move towards our debt snowball by mid May. If we can move the needle on our debt free journey by $14,000 that’s HUGE and will alleviate close to $400 in monthly payments allowing us to gain momentum.
By mid March we will be CREDIT CARD DEBT FREE and mid May we will pay off our roof repairs 2 years early! We will be left with medical debt (no interest), 2 car payments and my student loans which should all be cleaned up in under 3 years.
It doesn’t feel worth it now, but come May I’ll be ready to unwind for the Summer and RELAX working my usual 36 hours/week, working on the blog, and spending time with my boys. Not to mention, with every debt we pay off we gain a bit more financial freedom.
Yet, come Fall I’ll have some big decisions to make as to where I want to spend my time. I don’t think I can juggle two jobs like this anymore. I averaged 68 hours/week for three weeks straight. Dropping back down to 54 hours/week until mid-May feels like a vacation….kind of.
As a recovering workaholic (that’s a real thing) and a recovering perfectionist, my anxiety peaks with an empty calendar. I don’t do well with free time. When researching the definition of “workaholic” and reading through a few articles, a few quotes stuck out to me:
- Workaholics view staying at the same level of accomplishment is considered a failure.
- Because workaholics have an external frame-of-reference, they depend on others’ approval for self-identification.
- As long as workaholics believe in their own version of reality, these defenses continue to be used to justify their actions and behavior.
- “Without a daily list of tasks to handle, a workaholic might feel as if they are wasting time or living without a purpose,” she says. Even though they don’t have much of it, workaholics rarely allow themselves to enjoy free time.
- “They do not commit to it for the fun of it, but for the purpose of tranquilizing the negative emotions that come from not working.” So in an effort to circumvent the anxiety that comes from not working, they busy themselves in work — but to the point of numbness.
For more signs you or someone you love may be a workaholic, check out these resources: https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/5-recognizable-signs-youre-a-workaholic
So while my calendar appears that I may be a workaholic, my mindset is very aware of how bad this is for my health and my lifestyle and I want to settle down. That’s the difference between Kalissa now and Kalissa 2 years ago. I can recognize the breakdown in my actions and how it affects my personality and relationships with those around me – workaholics cannot.
So it looks like next Fall I might have to make some difficult decisions. I love both of my jobs. I can’t imagine leaving either one but a certain level of time commitment is required at each job and I won’t do this again.
I. Won’t. Do. This. Again.
In the meantime, I’ll be checking in with my therapist to review my workaholic tendencies and look deeper into what caused a relapse. Usually it has to do with some unresolved anxiety or fear.
My orthodontist was ALARMED when he saw my teeth last week commenting on how it appears I’ve been grinding my teeth quite a bit. I’ve since caught myself constantly clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth. That’s also a sign that something’s up. I need to listen to my body and RELAX.
P.S. I’m not here for the mom shaming comments. I can admit that I haven’t been mom of the year the past few weeks, but I don’t tolerate strangers on the internet telling me that I don’t love my family because I work too much. Keep that to yourself. Kthanxbai.