I have been MIA. Sometimes when you’re overwhelmed with work you put off everything on the weekend. I was bred as a child to over achieve. I view my value by doing as much as I can.
I plan a huge part of my life. I help others where I can. I sacrifice my sleep for the “hustle.” What does that even mean?
Two times already this year, I was so tired that I took a 4 hour nap, woke up for dinner and fell asleep again. My skin starting having from the stress.
One day, I was venting/complaining to my coworker how much I am working. My boss tells me that working extra is a personal choice. While some people shut down, I do more. Why? I want to feel like I have control over something, so I focus on my to-do list.
Today, I turned a new leaf. Even though I was tempted to open my email, because I thought of a solution for some else’s responsibility, I resisted. Every day, I will condition myself to have a F*** it attitude.
It isn’t because I don’t enjoy helping others. However, the more I work in corporate America, there are always those who are problem solvers and others who are not. Unfortunately, others’ work impact your own, so I jump into problems so I can move on with my tasks.
People start getting comfortable, even expect it. Dare I say, they are even lazy. No one says, “Let me put in the time to learn the solution, so Amy doesn’t keep doing thr work.” Lines blur and eventually your whole team thinks you are responsible for something that isn’t originally yours.
So I am learning really quickly that I can’t care or solve other people’s problems. I have to be OK that there will be a huge fire. There will be large impacts, including my work. However, when you keep extinguishing fires, management doesn’t pause to figure out the accountable.
Therefore, I will focus on my role and do the best I can. I can mention problems/solutions to the team. After X amount of times, it’s a “Not my problem” scene.
I know in my mind that glorifying burnout is bad for your mental and physical health. I know this, yet I still get wrapped in checking off items on my list. It will take work for me to undo what I learned for decades. My life is not work. Work is only a means for the quality life I want. I scribbled this mantra on a post-it and it hangs right on the edge of my monitor.
During these times, I hope you find peace. It is good to be grateful for your job, but don’t let it consume you. You are more than your work. When you die, no one is going to remember the specific project you completed at midnight. He/She will remember how you treated them and the core memories you shared.