There is a ton of stuff I'm trying to get done, get caught up on and teach myself to do. I always have something I should be doing, though a lot of the time I just plain don't have the motivation to do it. It seems I work better on a deadline. But I think that's just a major cop-out.
Either way, when someone I admire called me an over-achiever the other day I laughed out loud. Mostly because even though I'm getting things done, they are not to the standard I hold for myself and usually past the deadline that has been set. *sigh*
But the thought occured to me, am I really trying to do too much? I thought I was just trying to acheive. But am I taking on too much? I'm definitely feeling burned out. But is that because of me or because of everything I'm trying to take on? Or is it all the same thing?
I need a nap just thinking about it.
When I get as busy as I am these days there is usually something that ends up falling through. Or it just doesn't get the attention it needs. And when I finally end up getting the task or project done, it hardly every turns out the way I want.
And somewhere along the line I get tired of the stress of it all and quit the thing altogether. Which, of course, is terrible news and a terrible way to take care of the problem. But I confess that it happens and accepting that I have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery. Or so I'm told.
Anyway, this semester has been a big lesson in learning how to say 'no'. No, I don't have time for that. No, that won't keep me on the right track. No, I don't have the energy for that. No, that won't progress me in my career. No, that doesn't make me happy. It's a lot of 'no' and it makes me uncomfortable.
But somewhere along the line I have been able to find some sort of peace through it all. A friend reminded me to look at my past and what I have given up, or put on hold, to get to where I am now. It's a reminder to not give away all that hard work I've already put in. A lesson in self-sabotage and simplicity. Keeping my tasks, responsibilites and projects pared down to the must-do list keeps me sane and in turn leaves time to pick up something fun every now and then.
Recently I have been longing for the cubicle life again. Which is crazy, life is always greener huh? While I think about those moments in the past when I was blissfully typing and working away in my own little cubicle not talking to people, I have to remind myself of the stuff I didn't like too. There's a reason I left that job. There's a reason I went back to school. School is just the purgatory between the hell where I was and the paradise where I am going.
And for now I'm stuck in purgatory, completely in control of my destination and the route I take to get there. And I really couldn't ask for much more.
Except to maybe get there faster? Oh wait, I have control over that too. And that is the ultimate test in knowing my limits and exercising my ability to say no.
2 thoughts on “overachiever? whaa??”
good post, M. Just to let you in on a little secret – (there is no paradise on the other side of purgatory). The trick is to learn how to find little chunks of “paradise” in your current situation.
Ha, Marjorie! You sound like your mother and Brother Jud. Gung ho and then pooped out. The previous post has it right. Learning to say no to things that you shouldn't take on is a learning experience–sometimes as worthy as it is doesn't make it the right thing to do. Keep plugging along and enjoy the journey. Life is good!