Ahhhhh, time. How quickly you pass and how little of you I feel I ever have.
At a recent trip to the doctor, I sat shaking (due to my debilitating fear of needles) as my nurse searched for a vein in both of my arms. Eventually, she grabbed my doctor, hoping she’d have better luck. “Have you eaten today?” my doctor asked. “No, not yet,” I replied. “Have you drank any water?” she continued. “I had a coffee?” I replied, searching for the tiniest bit of validation for my efforts. “You’re dehydrated and your veins are collapsed. We can’t draw blood, you’ll have to come back.” “Okay, sorry!” I pleaded for forgiveness. “It’s alright.” My doctor said kindly, if not equally befuddled. “You do know it’s 11am, don’t you?”
Ahhhhh, time. How quickly you pass and how little of you I feel I ever have. There I sat in my doctor’s office, proud of myself for even making this appointment to begin with, only to be reminded by a medical professional that I had failed to fulfill the most basic of human needs before noon.
I am what some call a “workaholic.” I prefer “driven” “ambitious” or “super dope” to the former adjective.
Regardless, for the last few years, I took this “workaholic” label as a badge of honor.
For the last two years, since taking a full-time job as a producer and writer, being a workaholic meant waking up and checking my work email in bed, working all day, and updating my to do list in bed as I fell asleep. It meant waking up at 2:30am to be on set at 4am and getting home at 8:30pm, attempting to work more, and falling into bed at 10pm.
Never-ending work schedule aside, my badge of honor also meant neglecting my domestic chores, seamless-ing all my meals because who has time to cook, let alone shop for groceries?!, and waving goodbye to my social life.
I am not blinded by my ambition. I knew my schedule and my diet weren’t super healthy. And I felt my jeans getting tighter. So one morning, I did a thing I truly dislike as a raging feminist and staunch believer in self-love at any size – I stepped on the scale, just to see how I was actually doing. The results weren’t great.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t JUST upset about the number – what felt way worse was what the number said about how I managed my time. In my determination to become smarter and see my dreams come true, I’d begun completely neglecting myself (Re: “You’re dehydrated and your veins are collapsed.”).
We all have aspirations, things that give us purpose. But a lot of times, in an effort to be successful, we lose sight of ourselves. So these days, I take a day off once a week. I wake up and run before work. I don’t interrupt conversations with my friends when we’re out to take a work call (unless the permitting office is about to close for the weekend). And I shut my laptop and sleep, because my beloved to-do list will still be there and will easily be tackled tomorrow and the next day. I also drink a lot more water.