Cold Turkey Detox Day

I’ve been dying to get to this keyboard and write for the past week, but I’ve been working about 6 million hours a day so that hasn’t left much room for me to actually have a life. As usual. But that’s about to change.

Today marks an important day for me. One that my husband and I have planned and discussed for quite some time. Earlier this year, we had [yet another] conversation about my severe workaholism that turns on with each new school year. Ever since I’ve been a teacher, I’ve had this problem of working way many hours, to the point of excluding and neglecting  much of everything else in my life including my husband, my health, my home, my family, my friends, my hobbies, and worst of all, my relationship with God. I worked so hard to become a teacher because I wanted a career that I loved as much as the rest of my life. I thought I’d attained that. But in truth, what I’ve actually done is become nothing but a teacher. My whole personality (and even maybe my identity–I’m still figuring that one out) has become wrapped up in my career.

I’ve tried many different ways of making this more bearable over the years, but nothing worked because I never just decided I wasn’t going to be this way and did something serious about it. Until now. My husband is 100% hard-core about something when he makes a decision. JUST DO IT is definitely a motto he rolls with. So, I’m taking his guidance and I’m quitting cold-turkey. ( Not teaching, you goofs!) I’m quitting my workaholism. Cold. Turkey. TODAY.

We set the date of October 1st to start my detox from working like crazy…after which I will no longer allow myself to voluntarily stay at school past 5pm (with the exception of one “late night” each week which will be the same night Todd has another committment until 8pm) and I won’t be bringing home any work in the evening or on weekends.

GULP…

So, even though I’m excited about it, because I will actually have a life (!) I am also very very nervous. I have lived so out of balance in this way for so long, I’m not sure what to do to make it go well. I’ve thought about it, talked about it, prayed about it, and I still just seriously cannot see how I’ll physically be able to be the teacher I want to be without at the same time working at least as much as I already do right now. Which is probably why I just need to stop allowing myself to be out of balance, and just figure out how to cope with the fallout later. I know that there is a way to make it happen, I just can’t see it yet. Lord, help me!

So would you please pray for me? Even though I am having a mini freak-out realizing what a big deal this will be for me, I know in reality that my priorities really are out of whack, and that speaks more about me than just saying I’m a little bit of a workaholic. My life is made up of so much more than just my career–even as important as it is–and I need to remember what those so much more parts actually are. I’m praying for wisdom, for God to show me what’s on my plate that needs to be moved, changed, reduced, or kicked off completely. Interestingly enough, I’ve already had 2 different but very obvious attacks on this new goal that have come up in the past 2 days… I was giddy when I realized it, because that means I’m right on track with making this change. 🙂

I’ll be writing about how things are going along the way (duh) whether it’s good, bad, or ugly. Thank you in advance for your prayers and for kicking me in the boo-tay whenever I need it. Keep reminding me of what’s most important.

I’m looking forward to getting my eyes back on the One who matters.

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Only 100,800 Heartbeats to Spend Today…

 

Wow. Just read a comment this article by Dan Miller, author of 48 Days To the Work You Love  about living your best life now. The person leaving the comment suggested focusing on “Heartbeat Management” instead of “Time Management” to improve your quality of life.

“Heartbeat Management??” Uhhhh… what??

 

 

He goes on to say that Heartbeat Management is a new way of thinking: measuring your day in heartbeats instead of minutes to show just how valuable each second really is. He says that the average # of heartbeats in a day is about 100,800.

 The commenter said:

“So, out of the roughly 100,800 heartbeats that will expire today, how many of my heartbeats will I give to my children? How many will I give to my spouse? How many will I give to a job that doesn’t align with my purpose? How many will I give to television? How many will I give to worry? How many heartbeats will I let slip through my fingers with idle time? How many heartbeats will I give to myself?”

Whoa. My heartbeats are expiring as I’m sitting here writing this. How have I spent them so far today? I spent some brushing my teeth and getting dressed. (not really optional!) I spent some making a quick breakfast for my incredible husband and then about three heartbeats kissing him goodbye as he left for work (hmm…does it still count as three since my heart skipped a beat during that kiss?) Then I spent some of them watering and fixing up the garden. I spent several of them baking vegan cupcakes and granola bars. I spent some of them reading the article I’m referencing right now. I spent a few of them getting the mail. I spent some checking email and Facebook (why, exactly!?) and a few more texting back and forth with some friends. I spent a few of them downloading an app to my iPhone.

Have I spent any of today’s heartbeats very well so far? *squirm*

On my to-do list in front of me, it says I need to spend some of the ones I’m not even 100% guaranteed to get later today on buying tickets, making phone calls to my insurance company, (kill me now)  jogging,  and mowing the grass. Later tonight, if I get to live out the rest of this day, I’ll spend a good chunk of my heartbeats hanging out with some friends celebrating a birthday. Those will be worth it.

Right now I’m spending some of my finite heartbeats on writing this so hopefully some other folks can start thinking of their moments as heartbeats too. Understanding that as each one pounds, it’s another one we will never get back. Like the one that just thumped in my chest. It’s gone. Yep, there goes another one…never to be replaced. And another one. And another…

Suddenly I feel like I have better things to do.