When work is play, and play is work, stop it!

Maybe you know me or have read my bio. I have always been a person who loves to work. I find it relaxing to audit a spreadsheet. I’d rather bring work home to keep on top of deadlines. I check work email all the time. An average work week has been 40-50 hours, if not more. Or, it used to be. I’m officially considering myself a recovering workaholic. But, does this sound like you? Stop it. 

As of last March I’m only working one job instead of two, or three if you consider the side gigs I took on.  For the first time since we moved to Virginia I have a part time morning job only and suddenly I’ve realized all the life that has gone on when I wasn’t paying attention. I’ve also realized that no one has missed me. All that work I thought was so vital, so important, only I could get it done? Life went on. People are managing. Thriving. I have nothing to show for that work. Except for the stuff that is missing now.

Like what you ask?

Mental and physical health for two. I skipped appointments or didn’t make them, ate poorly, ignored people, places, and things, and it shows. My eyes are blurry. My body aches. My stamina is low even for sitting. Don’t choose work over all health.

Going and Doing. I have a friend from another time and place who recently moved across the country to another state with six kids, new jobs, new house, and she already has a church home, book club, her kids have had sleepovers and parties with their new friends, and her new friends comment on their activities together on her Facebook…meanwhile I’ve been in my neighborhood, this house, for 10 years. Just this last weekend I went to a shop in the center of my little town for the first time. I was amazed. When I drove a different way to work a whole housing development went up I didn’t know about. The only people I know are the ones I’ve worked with. And, in my neighborhood, I really only know the names of 3 of the neighbors but only because my husband has talked with them and told me their names.

To make matters worse, we live 90 minutes from the Smithsonian. I’ve never been. We live 90 minutes from the US Botanic Garden. I’ve never been. We live 90 minutes from Mount Vernon. I’ve never been. We live 2 hours from Falling Water. I’ve never been. I worked for UVa for 5 years, and, you guessed it, I’ve never been to Charlottesville, 2 hours away. Don’t choose work over Going and Doing.

My only excuse is that my jobs were hourly and I would have missed paid time that cost money. The dollar cost or loss seemed to outweigh the personal enriched value. I wonder if I can make up for lost time? I’m older, wobbly, and the idea of going to any of those places makes me over think my stamina, my vision, the physical things that would have made it easier 10 years ago. Any time in the last 10 years would be better than now but will I make up for lost time? I hope so.

You know what I enjoy now more than a spreadsheet? Reading. Enjoying my house and garden, even my technology. I found out there’s this thing called YouTube where I found out people who like to sew are called sewists? Their projects are “makes” or “me mades.” Sewing has a whole new vocabulary I didn’t know about! Then I found out there’s this thing called “Instagram.” Wow! There are fiber artists doing all the work I used to do and more! I’m on a mission to get organized–you know there are whole videos of people organizing? And then, I found podcasts. There is no lack of inspiration to get things done, go places, discover the world around us. I’m making these things, and writing, more of a priority now. No more waiting. Setting up a sewing annex

My advice to everyone, especially younger, is don’t wait. Go and Do. Work is work, play is play. Make the decision for your mind and health. And for goodness sake eat right and keep moving!

Posted in All Things, Health, Stuff I think about, Virginia | Tagged | Leave a comment

02/02/2020 Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day. It’s like New Year’s Day, but not. December and January are just so busy in my church world job. There’s holy days, fancy music days, publication traditions that must be met, plus personal pressure to maintain some sort of holiday joy of the season, but it’s hard. Overwhelming. Consuming. It’s no time for fun. Until we get to Groundhog Day. At last no work responsibilities. No expectations. No wardrobe needed. Nothing to bake, or take, or gift. In fact, no gifts. It’s a true New Year.

And, it’s 02/02/2020. Very auspicious. I can get going on what most everyone else has already done.

I finally decided on my word of the year. Time. I’m going to filter decisions with the word Time. I’m going to try to be on time for all the things I’m not.

I’m keeping the same resolutions I always make. Make a friend, find a church, get healthy, write more.

I just finished a book that is resonating with me, even three days out from when I finished. The Likely Resolutions of Oliver Clock by Jane Riley. Oliver reminds me of me. So I don’t over explain here, let me show you some quotes from the book:

“Eventually I got up. If for nothing else but to change, to get out of my work clothes and into something more comfortable. Then I pootled around the flat, aimlessly tweaking the minutiae. Ensuring the remote controls sat parallel in a row on the coffee table, the spices were aligned in the spice rack, labels facing out, and the pictures on the wall weren’t crooked. These tasks usually gave me comfort; they were small rituals around which I could retain a feeling of order and control. But today I felt more discombobulated than I had ever been and no amount of symmetry seemed to ease it. I had basked in a momentary high and then, bam, it was over and I felt flatter than a flat-pack IKEA table.”

And

“I struggled to make decisions – well, not make them so much as enact them. I could make a decision in my head and even write it down in my notebook, but doing it was a different matter. I would think of all the things that could go wrong, the risks that might be involved, the possibility of failure. I feared the unknown as others are scared to eat food past its use-by date. The ‘don’t’s won over from the ‘do’s time and time again, until it seemed the natural way to be.”

Tell me you’ve never felt flatter than a flat pack IKEA box? I have. I do. Especially in December and January. And decisions. Going places. Decisions about going places. My don’ts always win over do’s all the time! Jane Riley was writing about me. Oliver wrote stuff down in a yellow notebook. Mine is white with stickers all over it. I’m excited to get going and hopeful I can take a bit of hope from Oliver and DO actual stuff. Happy Groundhog’s Day.

Pootle around if you want. I collect Groundhog stuff here:

My curated Groundhog Pinterest Board

 

Posted in All Things, Blogging, Books, Holiday, Stuff I think about | Tagged | Leave a comment