Pic of the week.

longestride

Finally sitting down with a book!

It’s quite possible that it’s been an entire year since I’ve given myself a moment.

A real moment, anyway.

At any given minute in a typical day, chances are, I’m working. Whether it’s at my day job, or an underpaid freelance gig. I’m working (even on the weekends). If I’m not working, I’m at the gym. And yes, those moments are kind of for me, but sometimes I don’t want to be there (sorry, trainer).

In 2012, my counselor told me I needed to start making an effort to do things I wanted. Take an hour each week, he said, pen yourself in. What would you do? he asked.

I would go for a walk in my neighborhood, I said. I would go order one of those fancy, spiked coffee drinks from the pizza place, and I would sit and sip and read.

But, as it seems anyway, before I could make one of these moments for myself, I started dating someone who was determined to take away everything I had made for myself.

I spent lots of free time with him; even some of the time we spent together I felt like I should have been working, or sleeping (instead of picking him up from jail). It’s something I have a pattern of doing—giving absolutely all of me to the person I am dating—and when they leave me, there’s just a tired, heartbroken me.

Once we broke up, I spent the remainder of 2013 indulging in another pattern of mine: working myself like a mother fucker. I’ve done it since my first love left me—I cope by working, by moving forward, by never stopping.

One of my trainers calls it a fear of complacency. Call it that, call it masochism, call it work-obsessed, call it what you will—but it’s starting to wear on me. Unfortunately, I can’t give all the credit of my work-obsessed routine to my exes.

Part of it is just a complex I have. I want to be successful (Enter: Drake). I never want to lose my creativity. I don’t want to get stuck in the bores of my 9 to 5 (sorry, boss). And sometimes, like perhaps after a breakup, I don’t want to be able to think.

But, the recent visit to my doctor gave me a few reality checks: 1. STDs (real or fake) are scary as shit, and 2. Stress is real, and so are its negative health effects.

So last week, I decided to stop taking on so much freelance work, and save a little time for me. Now, I still had deadlines, so I worked like a horse all week so that I could take the weekend for me.

While I didn’t order an Irish Coffee, I did get some things done that have been on my to-do list (yes, it even felt good to scrub my shower), I gave myself a pedicure, I cooked (pumpkin pancakes, sausage and eggs, and sweet potato soup…all paleo!), I blogged, and I sat down with a mug of black tea and my newest book (thanks to my best girlfriend), The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks.

In case you’re interested, here’s the short synopsis:

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

I know I can’t be alone in my work-obsession, but if you’re anything like me, I hope you can find a moment for yourself this week. Cheers!

 

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Posted on January 28, 2014, in The Squeeze and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. That’s really a brilliant idea, the whole pencil in an hour for yourself sort of thing. While I’m not working, or keeping busy, all the time; when I’m doing nothing my brain is constantly thinking about all of the things I should be doing.

    Maybe if I took an hour to truly just do whatever I wanted, I’d be more motivated to do my usual multi-tasking and get more things done.

    Hmmmm…you’ve given me something to think about.

    Enjoy the ‘You’ day.

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