She literally works me to the bone, demanding that I give 110%, signs me up for 5:30am appointments, makes me document everything, rarely gives me a break, keeps me up late at night and deprives me of the one thing I want most – to sit on my butt and eat ice cream until I am sick!
Yep, you guessed it – I am describing myself! At the end of each day, I am physically exhausted from exercise, meal planning and preparation, working 8 hours (for much nicer bosses comparatively), running kids and then showering and writing in my journal until late in the evening. The upside to that long day – I sleep really hard!
But it’s so much more than that.
Let me start from the beginning. For the first 20 years of life after college, I worked as a Sign Shop Manager at a beer distributor. It was the most fun and laid back job that I have ever had. Don’t get me wrong – I worked hard and had really busy weeks in the summer and around promotional events, but deadlines were often flexible and my customers were (almost) always thrilled with my work. (Plus, I had a lot of perks like free beer and concert tickets!) The management team had complete faith in me and I wanted nothing more than to please them, and my customers, with creative designs and high quality work. I prided myself on being the best at my job.
Then in the fall of 2019, I decided it was time for a change and more of a challenge. I figured I had another 20 years left in me so why not try something else? I got a job in the marketing department at a local state college and got exactly what I wished for.
You know the old saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” Well, that’s how the first few months of my job went. I had a lot of learning to do – much more than I expected. I took some online classes and lots of training sessions to learn the software and all the different processes expected of a state employee. Some things took longer to learn than others, but eventually, I became integrated into my position and the marketing team. It took much more brain power than I expected, but I wanted a challenge – right?
So here we are today, talking about a 3rd job that is even harder and takes up all of the remaining time in my days but the benefits outweigh (hehe) the sacrifices.
Here is some perspective for you. When we get up and go to work each day, the main goal is to make money so we can pay our bills, feed our families, and maybe have a little fun once in a while. There are days when our bosses expect more than 8 hours and certainly days with extra heavy work-loads. Some of us sacrifice our own personal time in an attempt to get caught up but then the “powers that be” only pile on more work and the cycle continues. In the end, the one thing that always gets bumped off of the priority list is the time needed to take care of our own health.
That is why I like the analogy of treating my new life-style as a second job. I make it a priority every day. When I schedule exercise classes, I show up and give 110% like I would for any boss. When there are conflicts with other activities, I rearrange my schedule but always make time for myself. It’s not an option. My body and soul need this love and attention like a hot, sweaty runner needs a cool drink of water.
But instead of bringing home butt-loads of money (ha – I wish!), I get to reap the endless benefits from eating healthier and exercising more. Losing weight is the top scoring benefit right now, but I’ll take feeling good and sleeping better as a close 2nd and 3rd! The countless benefits are all of those little things that you take for granted – being able to wear your wedding ring, fitting into airplane seats, being small enough to go on some carnival rides, seeing your cheek bones again, shopping for smaller clothes and better yet – wearing them! The list goes on and on.
The most important difference between our money-paying job and working hard on our health is who gets to reap all of the profits/benefits. Instead of just getting a small portion of someone else’s benefits, you get to enjoy them ALL! It’s all you baby! You get all of the credit, too!
It’s not easy to prioritize your health when your money-paying job is extra busy and other people around you are putting in extra hours, but if you set the standard early-on, hopefully your company will realize that you will be a better asset as a healthy, centered and de-stressed employee than an unhealthy, overworked and resentful one.
Now I am NOT telling you to slough off and miss deadlines so you can leave work on time. I am only saying that you should prioritize the same amount of hard work and dedication on yourself as you would for any boss or job. I try to be an in-valuable member of my team at work but when my shift is over, I give that same level of commitment to myself.
NO ONE ELSE EVER WILL!