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Before I quit my job in May, I was living a miserable life. I was working at least 70 hours a week at my full-time job and on my website, and I had so much to do that nearly every minute of my day had to be spent in a productive way. And, because of that, my life was basically falling apart. I didn’t have time for anything like laundry, dishes, or grocery shopping. Quality time with my children was usually spent stressing about all that needed to be done. And while my relationship with my husband stayed strong, I really wasn’t giving him the time and attention that he deserved either. Simply put, my life sucked.
Just the other day, I was skimming through a bunch of rough drafts of articles I’ve written and I came across a flashback to my workaholic past. I had to share.
It’s 5:00, and I’ve just finished a long and stressful day at work. I’m completely exhausted, and it’s not because I don’t love my job. I thoroughly enjoy what I do for a living, regardless of the stress and constant demands of my workday. Yet, despite the fact that I’ve already put in a full day at the office, my work is far from over. It’s now time to go home and start my most important job of all, being a mother to my two sweet children.
Since my husband and I carpool to and from work, we pick the kids up from daycare and drive home. I try to show them some attention while I make dinner, if only to give them a hug and a kiss between stirs of whatever I’m cooking. Once I’m done preparing our meal, we eat dinner as a family and try to relax.
After dinner, it’s time for baths and mundane chores. I start a load of laundry while my husband, Greg, supervises bathtime. I put away the clean clothes from the day before, empty the dishwasher, and load it again. Saving money by eating at home saves a bundle of money, but it creates a lot of dirty dishes to wash and put away! I loathe dealing with dishes altogether, but I try to remember why we eat at home to begin with- to save money and to get ahead.
After bath time, we dress the kids in their pajamas and start to wind down. It’s about 7:00 by now and we have about an hour before it’s time to put the kids to bed.
One hour to play with my children without any other responsibilities. One hour to hug them, kiss them, and give them 100% of my affection. I cherish this precious time with them and try to cram as much as I possibly can into that one tiny hour. Still, I often wonder….is this really how we’re supposed to live?
As I read that post, I could feel the desperation in my own words. I was overworked and lonely, and had truly become a shadow of my former self. And although I didn’t realize it at the time, I think I was teetering on the edge of insanity. Looking back, I’m not sure that my lifestyle was fair to my family…or myself. And, what kind of life was I really living, anyway?
I’m so glad that I quit my job to pursue my passion. And while being self-employed and working from home isn’t perfect, it’s given me the opportunity to enjoy the little things again. And, at the end of the day, the little things are probably all that matters anyway.
Was there ever a time in your life when you felt overworked? If so, how did you make a change?