Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Lonely Place Called Overtime

It’s been so long since my last post I’m not sure I remember how to write one anymore.  Let me start by apologizing to you, my readers.  It was not my intent to leave you hanging for the last two months with nary a post!

I confess...I succumbed to the seedy underbelly of the work world…overtime…and lots of it! 

It’s a club few people want to join, but many are dragged into.  The atmosphere is oppressive.  The dim glow of laptop screens reflect the despondency in bulging eyes, peering out of faces gone pallid from lack of sunlight.

Bodies, bloated with high carb intake, and jacked up on caffeine, slump in office chairs.  No one makes eye contact.  This is a cold, dark, lonely place where people wither and die inside.

OK, so maybe it wasn’t THAT bad, but it wasn’t good.  It’s hard to find a balance between putting in enough time to do your job well, and sacrificing your personal life and health to make it happen.

I should know better.  I’ve hit the proverbially brick wall before – working myself so hard that I ended up with stress induced asthma and heart palpitations.  But I push, optimistic that I can create more hours in a day.  (There really are only 24, you know.) 
I trade sleep for work; working until midnight, then getting up at 5:30 to exercise.  I trade quiet time with God for stress time with my computer.

Soon I trade exercising in favour of getting to the office earlier to work more.  Next I trade healthy eating in favour of binging on chocolate and carbs to energize my sleep and exercise deprived body.

I crave tea before I even got to work in the morning.  I find my eyes drooping at red lights and think, “Maybe I could close them just for an instant.”  I’m bone-tired exhausted on the drive home.  Then I do it all over again.

And that’s where I’ve been for the last two months.  But it’s a twisted, unhealthy lifestyle!  This week is about finding balance.

I’ve designated time with God – it’s booked in my Outlook calendar as a meeting…Lunch With God! 

I’ve gone back to running on the weekends, and set my baseline weigh and measure at Curves. (That was a disturbing visit!)  Chocolate now is a treat instead of a prescription.  I'm focused on being in bed by 10:00 every night.

Yesterday I left the office at 4:30 and was home by 5:10.  I had an evening to make soup, chat with my husband, play with the cats…and start a blog post.  It was amazing!  I know it doesn't sound like much, but it was a huge accomplishment in my world!  My goal is to have more of those nights.

You’ve heard about burning the candle at both ends.  Let me say this, you can do it for a while, but sooner or later your fingers get burned and then the flame goes out.  Stop the madness before your flame goes out.

Is your life an unbalanced, out of control mess?  Is it time to set boundaries and reclaim your personal time?  Share your thoughts by clicking on "comments" below.

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