I'm a recovering workaholic.
When my husband worked the afternoon shift, I'd work all day and late until the evening.
If he worked weekends, so did I. At times I worked 80+ hours a week.
I said yes to every request. If I wasn't working, my evenings were filled with meetings, dinners and volunteering. Many times, doing things I didn't like, with people who sucked the energy and life out of me.
A couple of years ago I hit rock bottom. I'd done two keynotes and was scheduled to give the sermon at church. When Sunday morning rolled around, I stayed in bed as long as I could without missing the service.
That was the beginning of May and it wasn't until August I started to human again. I took the entire summer off. I said no to almost every request and even though my team at work doubled in size I learned to scale back and shutdown the computer.
I spent almost every weekend kayaking, reading, napping and doing activities that didn't require much physical exertion or mental work.
I think the way I lived my life is how many others live. They just don't know how to gain control of an out of control life. They are hanging on by threads on an unraveling sweater. And before they know it, the small snag is a gaping hole and they start to unravel.
The crazy thing about the crash, is months before, my doctor warned me it was coming. I'd spit saliva in tubes and the hormone test, especially the cortisol warned of what was to come. But I ignored the warning from both the test results and my doctor. Don't we think we are invincible? Well we are not.
Ever since that summer of regaining and taking charge of my health and schedule, I've reprioritized my entire life.
In the past, I'd feel guilty for sitting on the dock, reading and well, accomplishing nothing on my to do list.
And especially feel guilty if I just came back from a vacation, which I did on Wednesday.
But my June is crazy! Starting today, I'm out of town 13 out of the next14 days.
So, guess what, this past weekend, I'm relaxed at the lake. I sat on the dock or in the boat while my husband is fished. I kayaked. I took a nap. And yes, I did a little work, as I have commitments I've made and deadlines to hit.
If you're at the edge of your thread, there is hope, but it's not easy. It's a lot of work, not to work, to free up one's schedule, but it can be done.
Trust me, I've lived that crazy life for years and what I've discovered is the less busy I've become, the happier I am.
If you need help reclaiming your life, email me at stephanie@GivingGal.com, to schedule a complimentary coaching session. Let's work together to set your priorities and a plan to decrease your stress and increase your happiness.
Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of
“The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life”