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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Buyer

#56: Life Update

(Written 6/1/22)

Hi. How are you? It’s been awhile since I’ve made the time to post, or felt like I had something to share. I’m skipping the life updates for now. They come later. (I ran a half marathon uphill without training LOL). A few months ago, I decided to take a break from coaching and posting consistently on social media. I could do it, but just because I’m capable of juggling a whiffle ball, 2 avocados and a tennis ball doesn’t mean I should. As much as I enjoyed the entrepreneurship, it was taking a toll on my dedication to work and ability to enjoy life. Same thing goes for half marathon training. I realized that I wasn’t willing to give up my time in the gym, but I couldn’t find time (and didn’t want to make time) to add another workout.

Work (at my day job) has always been my priority, but I was pulled in too many directions keeping up with other things. Once I stopped, there was less background noise and more time for me to actually enjoy what I’m doing. I was doing well before, but the speed at which I can deliver projects skyrocketed since I removed the noise. As I’m able to accomplish things more quickly and do a better job, I enjoy work more too. I met with a team lead the other day to present what my completed projects over the last month. I showed him the list of projects and his response was “This is great, but I don’t want you to burn out working so much.” In the moment, I was only thinking “but I do this in 40 hours a week!” Then I realized that most people take a few breaks throughout the day. My 40 work hours are truly focusing hours. If I’m at work and not focusing, I’m probably playing ping pong with my team. Anyway, I said thank you in the moment and took it as a compliment.

If I’m not pushing myself to do more or do better, then I feel like I’m falling behind. I’m not satisfied at the gym or at work unless I’ve exhausted myself. I’m grateful that I’m motivated, but doesn’t this mean I’m burning myself out by definition? I don’t feel burned out, partially because I’m loving my job right now, but also because I’ve been working for less than a year.

I work out in the evenings these days. I’m not a fan of the crowd, but I decided that I’d rather deal with the crowd than the lack of sleep. Luckily, I haven’t worked late enough to miss the gym yet. By the time I get home for the day, I don’t have the mental capacity for anything other than dinner, TV and sleep… which means that my apartment is bit messy. It takes me 3-5 business days to move clean laundry out of the dryer and put it away. (I do my laundry, that part is easy.) My ping pong table has been on my floor for 2 months now. Technically, I have the time to do these things. By the time I get home, there’s no energy or motivation left.

My friends get together on weeknights, and spend most of the weekend together. It’s not that I’m excluded, but I can’t convince myself to go to Capitol Hill for Bingo at 8pm on a Tuesday. I spend most of the weekend (before 11pm) with my friends. I appreciate the energy that they have to do something fun every night. I feel guilty that I’m not always there, and I’m worried I’ll start to be excluded. I couldn’t blame them, either. I wouldn’t want to invite someone to do something if they always said no. I wish I wanted to be there – and I do want to be there, I just don’t have the mental energy left.

I’ve started to dread the weekend because it means I have to make plans for myself. I know it’s wrong. I have amazing friends, and I should be living life outside of work and the gym. I want to spend as much time as possible with friends and meeting new people, but I dread having to make plans and decisions for myself. I find it stressful to choose which activities I’ll enjoy. I know my friends have started doing things without me because I’m not there enough or can’t stay out late enough. I’m working on becoming okay with this – I want everyone to go out and have fun. At a certain point, it’s on me to text people and figure out what’s going on if I want to join. Again, I’m working on it.

I don’t think I know what balance is. Should I take a few more breaks at work and save energy to move the laundry and make more time for friends? Honestly, probably…but I don’t want to. I’m having a great time and delivering projects in my focus hours. As long as I’m dedicating all my energy to work, I won’t enjoy hanging out with my friends as much.

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