When I quit my job last year to start my own consulting business, I had a purpose. I knew that I wanted to do something that would make a difference. Not just in my life but, in people’s lives. I wanted to help people.
Sadly, the market can be unforgiving and I ended up struggling with bills to pay until I was offered a full-time position in a financial institution. I took it, not knowing what was to come in the days ahead. I can only look back and say that I am grateful that it came at a time when I needed it. More importantly it came right before the pandemic got serious and at least I have the means to pay my bills. I am very grateful for that.
When I did take on the position though, I had promised myself that I would treat it as just a job. All throughout my career, I’ve always been very passionate about my work. I’ve put in the long hours and made the effort to go the extra mile. I let the job consume me and my family time. I never took holidays, worked late hours and hardly spent time with my daughter because I was always so tired on the weekends. I swore to myself last year… never again.
Yet, I find myself falling down the same rabbit hole. I know old habits are hard to break and I’m not the kind of person who can be insincere. When I do something I like to do it well and there’s no place in my life for half-hearted effort. But the truth is, I realized just because you’re taking time for yourself and your family, doesn’t mean that you’re not putting in all your effort for work.
We all need to draw the line somewhere. We need to make time for our families and for our own wellbeing. I wake up on the weekend not knowing where my week has gone… and then before I know it I’m waking up for work. Yes, I get paid a salary and that’s great but, after a few years I will have nothing to show for it. I will be middle-aged, my daughter will be off to college and I will kick myself for not having spent more time with her.
I’m also quite miffed with myself for letting go of all the initiatives I had taken last year. Searching for clients, building a coaching business, building my website and being more active with my blogging. I was quite happy with my progress for a while until it all fell apart. I became completely absorbed with my day job and never bothered to make time for anything else.
Yet again, I’ve started working 10 hours a day and taking work home, making it at least 12-14 hours a day. It really isn’t necessary. But, I do it because I think this is what one should do. I’m not saying I should slack off, but no one will fault me for working the required 8 to 10 hours a day, particularly when all I do during this time is work. I don’t spend time gossiping or browsing external websites. I’m constantly in work mode.
I need to make space in my life to take care of myself and my family. I need to build a life for us, not just source of income.