Overworked in Paradise

Looking at the date of my last post I realize just how much my life has changed.  I didn’t realize how much working full-time again would change me and how I experience the world.  My job has proven to be challenging and exciting, but not without it’s drawbacks.  For several months now, I feel like I’ve lost sight of why I moved to Hawaii.  Too many hours in the office to the point where I’m starting to learn the cleaning staff that come in at 6:30PM on a first-name basis: it’s not healthy.  I didn’t expect to get consumed by work, not here in Hawaii.  Somehow I thought now that I was in Hawaii, where people value quality of life over work, I’d be immune to pushing myself to the point of exhaustion.  Once again, I’ve learned that wherever you go, you bring yourself with you.  Interestingly, my amount of responsibility is higher than any position I had in Washington, DC so I’m working even harder then ever.

I almost hit my tipping point last week: that point where you are burnt out and there’s no turning back.  I’m trying not to beat myself up for letting it get to that. I know I need to be gentle toward myself. I’m passionate and committed to my work to a fault.

I took Friday off and took off in a boat and went fishing.  It was one of the better decisions I’ve made in months.  I can almost say it saved me, at least for this week.  Something about being out in the middle of nowhere deep blue ocean fishing with whales gracefully gliding by you, spinner dolphins racing your boat and no one in sight.  This is why I moved here and this is what I need to continue to live for.

So I’ve taken a look at where I’m at and what needs to change.  I have always prided myself in working hard and having a high level of productivity.  I can accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.  But it’s dawned on me it’s not always a good thing: operating at full speed 100% of the time can only lead to burnout.  So I need to become less productive.  Not lazy or unmotivated but learn to pace myself.  If I don’t get something done today, it will get done tomorrow.  And the world will not end if I don’t check off everything on my daily planner list. I need to let go, surrender to my limitations and trust everything will work out just fine.  I don’t want to be that person who is a control freak and consumed by work.  And that is exactly the way I’ve been operating.  When I look in the mirror I want to like what looks back at me.

Tomorrow is a new day and I’m going to practice slowing down. I’m going to practice being less productive so I can continue to be productive in the future.  And I’m not going to feel guilty about it.