Anne Smith :: Blog for May 2016

May 4, 2016

Hi, Everybody-

Somehow, April vanished! Poof! I've unexpectedly been given 2 days off in a row, something having to do with a schedule change and pay period at work. I didn't plan to have the day off, and it threw me. I uneasily slept in until 9:30, feeling disoriented and broken when I woke up. I'm house/cat-sitting for friends in Boca, conveniently close to work, and I'm used to hitting the ground running, clocking in 9-10 hour days. This morning, I've come to a screeching halt. Thank God.

Truth be told, I have been running on empty for the past couple of weeks, as I seek to strike balance between a full-time challenging job, and 2 part-time jobs. I have always been a person of extremes-like many artists, my temperament can run hot and cold. When I'm "hot", I run full-throttle, 24/7. I tend to throw myself up against challenges with no consideration for moderation; everything becomes a priority. I compile tasks, take on promises, meet new people, love new loves, crank out projects, and burn both ends of the candle in one blazing ball of activity; I know that I am trying to make up for several months of being unemployed. I'm punishing myself. And nobody knows it but me. If my words are like a friend's finger poking you in the chest, pay attention.

Workaholics, like all "holics" are at a high risk for qualifying for additional categories of holics, a suffix that indicates a person who has an abnormal desire for or dependence on a substance or situation. It is a compulsive connotation, this suffix that combines with other nouns to create a negative and unhealthy designation: alcoholic, rageaholic, sexaholic, chocoholic, shopaholic, bikeaholic, gymaholic, jockaholic, newsaholic, Trumpaholic…..get it? What is the "holic" in your life? What threatens to steal your peace of mind? Why are you letting it overtake all other areas of your life? Holics are ego driven. How are you using this "holic" as a high speed vehicle to take you away from what you really need and want in your life?

As I push myself to succeed in my new position, creating beautiful and original art projects with the residents, entertaining them with my performances, writing new programs to enrich their activity schedules (and having to lead them myself ) I am forced to admit that I cannot continue to operate at this high octane level without losing myself. It is impossible to keep so many balls in the air. Some get dropped. Some are important, some are not. Unfortunately, when everything has become a priority, important stuff gets dropped. My fantastic supervisor, a remarkable executive and a Master Workaholic herself, advised me, "You have already become hard to do without. Isn't it nice to feel so needed….? But you don't want to be a slave to this place." It's time to realize that MY EGO is getting in the way. I have been trying to establish a sense of self-worth by becoming a workaholic. It's turning into "The Annie Show" on the workfront and I never meant for it to happen. I was only "just trying to do my job" and be successful at it.

I am blessed to have work that is meaningful and allows for creative freedom. I am blessed to have a sound body and mind…and a timely two days off to pause and reflect on what I need to do to conserve and preserve my Self. There is more to life than work and people-pleasing. I have to take my cue from my three newest feline friends: Oz, White Feet, and Rocky. Although I love all animals, particularly dogs, I have never really appreciated the nature of the cat until recently. By turns shy and gregarious, comical and dignified, cats maintain a sense of self at all times, with grace and balance. They take their time to stretch in the morning and nap when they want to. They are self-sufficient, but know when and how to seek attention. They are always tuned in and poised to act. Their existence does not depend on approval. How cool.

I wish all of you who are reading this could press the pause button for just a day. Lie in the sun. Sleep late. Eat good food. Drink lots of water. Hold a loved one close, heart to heart, without talking, and look into his/her eyes, for as long as it takes for the Holic to drive away into the sunset. You never know. Maybe your Self will take the wheel and your life will become your own again. I'm gonna give it a try….stay tuned.

Until Next Time xoxoxox

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