Last week felt like a longer week than usual. I worked diligently to provide the best care for everyone I served and to be a productive member of our team at work. I also focused on being a present and loving mom for my two daughters and keeping up with their respective schedules. When my daughters left to spend time with their dad and the work week came to an end, I immediately set out to start checking things off of my growing ‘To Do’ list. As I made my way home from running errands on a rainy Friday night, my weekend plans changed suddenly.
I will spare you the gory details, but out of the blue, my productive plans were derailed when I got sick. I had been pushing my body to the limits with lack of sleep, skipping meals, and skimping on exercise, and Friday night, my body pushed back . . . hard. When I was greeted with a continued onslaught of germ warfare yesterday morning, one of my first thoughts was, “Well, I am glad I am not sick on a work day, at least.” Let that statement sink in for just a moment, because it took me a bit to realize how sick that was.
Think about it, I was happier to be sick on my personal time than I was on my professional time. While this could be interpreted as a sign that I am a dedicated employee, which I am, and/or that I enjoy my work, which I do, for me, it was a sign that my life has gotten out of balance for the umpteenth time. So, as I have been forced to change my carefully made plans, it also has forced me to begin to reflect on what got me to this point again and how I finally can change it for the better. How can I work smarter, not necessarily harder? How do I incorporate time into my day to take care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually? What meaningful changes can I realistically make to create a better balance between my personal and professional lives?
I have a fairly good idea of how to do this, so, the real question that has remained unanswered is why I haven’t done what I know how to do?! I both know and don’t know the answer to that question. It comes down to the ugly truth that I tend not to take good care of myself because I am too busy doing two other things. Perhaps, you do one or both of these things, too.
One, it is easier to focus on my work, household tasks and errands, caring for my daughters, and helping other people in my life than it is to take care of myself, especially when I am struggling on some level. I cannot control other people or most aspects of life, but I can take comfort and satisfaction in seeing a task to its completion, like reaching a productivity goal at work or checking items off of my household checklist. The issue is that there is always a task that needs to be done at both work and at home, so, the distractions are limitless.
Two, as was recently brought to my attention, again for the umpteenth time, I tend to, in my friend’s words, “create something (negative) that isn’t there”. I am well aware of my tendency to sabotage myself with my negative thoughts and actions, as it is a convoluted defense mechanism to avoid getting hurt or feeling disappointed. My illogical logic goes something like this, if I expect the worst, and the worst happens, somehow my anticipatory negative expectation will soften the blow. It never has, but yet, I have held onto that limiting belief. I also tend to be impatient with myself, so, if my thoughts and actions are not resulting in the desired outcome in the time I want or need it to, I have been known to give up and fall back into old patterns that do not suit me. Doing the same thing and expecting different results has been defined as insanity, and I agree and have found myself in the midst of that insanity one too many times.
Self-awareness is the first step to making any change, but self-awareness without changing thoughts and behaviors is simply futile. It is that futility that landed me in my current state, and I now am determined that it will inspire and motivate me to make the necessary changes that will restore me to a healthier and happier state at home and at work. The weekend didn’t start as planned, but it is my intention that it will end on a positive note that it propels forward in the right direction to find a better balance in my life and to reap the benefits of those better choices. Time to take some more steps. Who’s with me?!
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story