Surprise! You Feel Confined!
I didn't "win the day," yesterday. I slept poorly, was anxious about deadlines, and my work was compromised by a computer quietly dying before I could begin the day. I was frustrated, inconvenienced, and due to fasting, hangry as hell.
As my stomach growled and my anger became blinding, I leaned into prayer (and shouting) to redirect the energy. I don't remember everything that I said but I do remember repeating, "All I do is work! All I do is work! ALL I DO IS WORK!" Yikes. I sat with that for a moment in a parking lot.
I have chosen the responsibility of a heavy workload. When the pandemic began, I cleaved to work for normalcy. When it rolled into its second year, I was working in angst to save for traveling abroad. Now, at the beginning of its third year (no damn doubt), I can only recall work dominating every area of my time.
I'm not hurting financially, a goal that took many years to achieve and maintain, but I work like I'll be broke by midnight.
I fear -- yes, fear!-- taking time off from work because things could become more overwhelming, so I push until I'd have to tearfully request a wellness day.
I take work on vacation. I can't kick it with family and friends for too long because work needs me. And whew boy, the audacity to try to talk to my partner about his work schedule because his 14- or 16-hour day is 2- or 4-hours longer than mine.
Hypocrisy. And counterproductive to what I really want: freedom.
I was cleaning some things around my digital footprint the other day and came across a letter I typed to myself entitled, "Dear Future Ashley." I closed it with words about the kind of employment experience I wanted for myself pre-retirement, the kind of partner I hoped to be with, and other things that I'm now living. This isn't the first time I've come across a prayer of mine written in the past in anticipation and expectation. So why am I going so hard for institutions that won't for me? Why am I confining myself to only observing the affirmative energy around taking a break and not being busy versus actually doing that shit?
I'll start today. I am putting in off day requests at random. I don't need a special nor sad occasion. Some days, I need to simply sit still and be comforted by what all the hard work has ushered in. The first is MLK Jr. Day and I find that befitting. There's things to do but, yeah, but I need to be "Free at last, free at last!"