I never want to let that happen again

Last week I literally put my whole entire life on hold for work. I somehow got it in my head that my program would not work unless I devoted my whole entire week to it, night and day.

What a mistake.

But to my own credit, I didn’t have a choice. It was either let the program suffer or do the work necessary to make it work out. I chose the latter because I am dedicated to my students and my only reason for being at this organization is for the students.

However, recently I have been confronted with a new concept: work/life balance. I don’t really understand what this means, but slowly, since some of my coworkers are all about it, I am learning more about it. See, I come from a working culture where everyone works 100% all the time to accomplish a goal no matter what the price, and on top of that people were not paid, it was all volunteer. And now I am getting paid for doing what I love to do, and although it is pretty much in the same vein of what I have done before, it is different because I have to take staff work/life balance into consideration.

And to top it all off, I have to take my own personal work/life balance into consideration. Being surrounded by libras (my parents, Jo, Jed), I know all about balance, but need help in achieving it.

This was my last 2 weeks:

8/7-8 – 2 days of Business Boot Camp for our juniors
8/9 – 1 day of working on logistics for the week after
8/10-13 – off to 4 days of College Summit (days that started at 7 am and ended at 2 am)
8/14 – right after that I had a training day for our Executive Leadership Circle
8/14-18 – followed by 4 days of Business Boot Camp for our sophomores.

My last 5 days started at 6 am and ended at midnight. I was on all day long with no breaks, barely any time to eat because I was supervising 45 students every minute with barely any help. When I got home, all I wanted to do was vegg, but I had to prepare for the next day or the day after that.

What suffered:

I didn’t get to go to the gym at all
I was eating horrible food
I wasn’t replying to work or personal email
I was barely replying to phone calls
I came home every day emotionally drained
I came home defeated after listening to staffmembers give feedback about how to do it better (and all I could hear was “This sucked,” “It was bad, this is how you can do it better,” etc.)
I broke down, not once, not twice, but yes, three times

This is the first time in a whole year that I’ve ever felt like I couldn’t do this job, and that’s not right, especially since 11 out of the 12 months that I have worked there, I have rocked at it (to put it humbly).

Moral of the story: It’s OK to love your job (because I still do love my job). But when your job and you start to have a codependent and hurtful relationship, it’s time to change something up.

So I’m going to change it up a bit. How? I don’t know yet. But I will.

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