Thursday, May 16, 2013

ON BEING A RECOVERING WORKAHOLIC


It's Thursday. My day to blog and my mind is on vacation--at least it's trying to be. :)

Some of you may have noticed I'm slowing down. Scaling back. Relaxing more and trying to remember to breathe deeply. 

This is a challenge for me, and I've decided I'm a recovering workaholic who keeps falling off the wagon.

I was born with an extra responsibility gene. My mother tells me I was "helping" her with dishes by the age of three. She dragged over a couple chairs for me to stand on so I could reach the sink and rinse dishes. 

By the time I was twelve, I was babysitting, fixing meals and cleaning the house while my mom worked, and driving the pick-up while my dad and brothers loaded hay bales on it. 

From there I worked in local restaurants, then for the state for over thirty years, then started my own businesses, including writing and rescuing doggies. 

I've lived decades where my worth was measured by how hard I worked, no matter what personal traumas I went through. I rarely took vacations--unless they involved working at something different--yet I never felt I was doing enough. 

I've finally realized how crazy that is and I'm trying to invent a life I've not experienced. 

I'm starting with baby steps. I sat on my back deck this morning with a cup of orange juice and enjoyed the rain. Obviously I'm an Oregonian if rain makes me happy--though it's a covered deck so I wasn't getting wet. :)

I've been reclaiming my yard from several years of neglect and love the dirt therapy. (The picture is my cleaned up narrow side yard, which I have not let most people see for quite some time.) I'm also planting my version of a garden, which means putting things in pots so I can take them with the doggies and me when we move to the farm. 

And I'm trying not to feel too guilty for this late post. And I have edits to finish on a story. 

Some of this may not sound like I'm slowing down but substituting one task for another. However, I'm doing things at a slower pace, saying no sometimes, and taking breaks to simply enjoy. As I said, I'm taking baby steps during this workaholic recovery stage.

How do the rest of you keep your workaholic tendencies under control? Or do you let them have free rein?

2 comments:

Meggan McQuaid said...

Genene, your side garden is beautiful. Looks like a lush little spot that needs a chair and a place to put a glass of orange juice and a book.

I'm not a workaholic. I'm more like a team of headless chickens. Make of it what you will. I'm a perfectionist, although in the last few years I've been learning to be an almost-perfectionist instead (Except when spell-check underlines in red). One way I handle that is to switch to a different task so my lizard brain can work on the problem.

I'm glad to know you are taking it a little easier. It's good for your health to relax sometimes. :)

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Love how you describe yourself, Meggan! Perfectionism can be a challenge too. I think I'm almost over that one. :)