I have a hard time separating work life from my real life and I’ve realized recently that I’ve lost my interest in actually living a life. What I mean is that I tend to put my all into my work life, but not a lot of energy into my own enjoyment of life. I don’t travel as much anymore, and I feel guilt whenever I think of asking for time off to enjoy what I’ve worked so hard for. Afterall, what am I working towards?
I know that part of the reason I do this is because I like to see a good job done. I don’t like to see half-assed efforts as an end result. However, because that’s my approach to my day job my own passions take a side step because I am not a super woman with the power to put her all into multiple aspects of her life. I definitely see this in the way my health has deteriorated and how my friendships are almost non-existent (obviously more reason that just being overworked, but I digress).
Being able to adapt is a quality I think any person who comes from a low income home, and who has had to do things they have no desire to do in order survive holds quite dear to themselves. I try to make what I’ve given my own in whatever way I can, but that eventually means more responsibility on my behalf. Sometimes more responsibility isn’t entirely a bad thing, but it can also cement you further into that thing you don’t want to be a permanent part of for longer than expected.
As of right now I’m entering my 30th year, the year everyone marks as a time to make those final decisions as a “young adult” before entering the “serious years.” I have a few personal goals, which, if achieved, I’ll go into them at a later point. I think personal, deep rooted goals should be kept to the individual. Not out of shame, but as a way of protecting your own path to achievement. I don’t want someone giving me constant advice about something deeply rooted in my desires without my consent. Goals can be a short term or a life changing thing, it just depends on how serious you want to involve others.
However, that brings me back to my original point - sorting out my work life and life-life. I do want to travel more, I want to increase my income, and I want to start my own business at some point, but I’m quickly realizing I can’t do that if I continue to make sacrifices for someone else’s dream. It doesn’t mean I’m going to slack off my job, or quit, but I’m not going to give more time than what is designated to me. I won’t volunteer for external responsibilities. I will continue to harden the wall between personal and professional in order to leave my work agenda at work. I don’t want to think about work until I lock the door to open shop.
My health, happiness, and future completely depend on my taking these steps. I know that it’ll be a struggle for me, there’s not doubt there. Putting my all into one area is a comforting place. I know what to expect, and I know I’m good at what I do, but it’s time to start putting a little more confidence in my own contribution to my future and my life.
If you’re like me and tend to put your all into what is supposed to be a day job, take a moment to think about what it is you actually want to do with the rest of your life. Make it work living. That can be anything from creating a business, taking part in activism, or doing absolutely nothing. Even if all you want to do is sit and read all day, make that your goal. Find a way to live that life!