There is a truism that tells us that nobody on their deathbed wishes they had spent more time at the office. These words are meant to get us to appreciate what is really most valuable and important in our lives, before it is too late. It is not our jobs, but our relationships that truly matter. This is my story as a recovering workaholic.
Today I am doing better. I am striving to remain in control of my work life. I am consciously trying to ensure that my work does not define me. I can assure you that this is never going to be an easy thing for me. I can still feel that powerful drug coursing through me after I have had a productive day. I have found it much easier now, given what I have been through, to not take my work home with me. In the past, even after a long day at work, I would still be emotionally involved with the day's happenings when I got home. I was physically present, but my mind was a thousand miles away. I was just not there.
I read a self-help book recently that strongly advocated that we make sure that we take our full measure of vacation time each year at work. My knee-jerk reaction has always been something like, "But I have too much going on to be gone that much." In reality, I just did not want to miss anything. Whatever project I was involved with could certainly have gone on quite swimmingly in my absence. I just did not want to admit this to myself, or to others. I used to joke whenever someone suggested that I take a vacation, "I have nothing to vacate from." Today I have clearer vision. While I cannot change the past and the negative impact that my decisions had on those I cared about, I can strive to do much better in the future.
(Part 3 of 3)