Today, the day after Halloween, I was at the local Wal-Mart and low and behold, they were busily taking down all the Halloween stuff and making room for the Thanksgiving and Christmas promotions and products. I felt a familiar knot start to develop in the pit of my stomach and thoughts of "Oh no! It's already November! Will I have enough time to get this or that ready for my website?!" and "I have to make sure and set time aside to work on this project!" or "I need to get my Christmas shopping list done so we can take advantage of on-line sales!!!" I caught myself actually dreading the coming weeks!
Then it occurred to me, this is supposed to be a time of joy, of relishing the time spent with friends and family. I realized that this time of year had lost its magic for me…that wonderful excitement that I remembered from childhood. Spending evenings conspiring over what cool decorations we would be putting out that year, the wonderful smells of baking and potpourri and candles. I remember I couldn't wait for this time of year.
I have always been a hard worker. I was raised with a strong work ethic, both my parents working full time to provide for us. My Dad always had some home improvement project going at home or was making wood crafts to sell at the local flea market to make extra money. So I've always believed that work should come before pleasure and you don't go off and have fun if there's something left that needs doing. Don't get me wrong, I love my work. I'm finally in a place in my life where I'm working completely for myself doing what I'm most passionate about…helping horses get and stay healthy and sharing that vision with others. I used to feel guilty because I actually loved my days and I thought you weren't supposed to enjoy what you did for a living. If you enjoyed it, it wasn't really work! Actually, I'll let you in on a secret…that's the way it's supposed to be!! But anyone who's run a business, whether small or large, will tell you that everything is never done. There is always one more thing (usually 10!) that needs attention. I had fallen into the pit of "workaholism"!
Luckily I have a couple of really great business mentors that remind me all the time that your business should fit around your life, not your life around your business. I hear those words all the time, but often catch myself falling back into the old habits. That's the problem with "isms", no matter how many times you crawl out of the pit, if you are not always vigilant and consciously making an effort at all times to stay out of the pit, it's very easy to backslide.
So this year, I plan on putting the magic back into my holiday by re-prioritizing what should be first…God and family. So what if each "i" is not dotted and every "t" crossed perfectly, it's all about the journey. If you don't enjoy the journey to get where you are going, then how can you appreciate the destination when you finally get there? Say "NO" to workaholism and then make a commitment to keep it that way!
If you have a workaholic in your life that needs intervention, please feel free to share this article. Are you a workaholic? Share your strategies for unplugging in the comment section below this article.
Lisa Carter is a Certified Equine Massage Therapist (CEMT), with multiple certifications from several different equine bodywork schools. She incorporates her knowledge and experience with Parelli Natural Horsemanship, equine bodywork and as a veterinary technician to provide her clients with the resources they need to make informed decisions for their horses. She encourages and facilitates network building between equine health care professionals, working together to find the best combination of therapies to meet the needs of the "whole horse".
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