Confessions of a Workaholic

When I googled “Workaholics Anonymous” I was only half-joking. Last week was my first serious effort to break free from the pit that mires me. Like any addiction, she calls to me, tempting me with her siren song. I want to understand her better.

There have been times when I’ve succumbed to the addiction because work gives me a strong sense of job satisfaction. It feels good to work. It feels good to know I’m doing well at something. Elsewhere in my life I’m a puddle of incompetence and insecurity.

These days the compulsion seems to be driven by my need to conquer – “I. WILL. NOT. LET. THIS. GET. THE. BETTER. OF. ME.” And yet, in the battle I’m giving the best of me. As a result I’m depleted. Exhausted. Practically defeated.

I began to dream of retiring and writing full-time…but that’s impractical. Maybe a more realistic goal is to find a job that allows me to have balance in my life.

Although I’ve been diligent in my commitment to P90X (1-1.5 hrs per day) and the arrival of a new used piano in my living room has brought extreme pleasure and a commitment of 30 minutes practicing each day, my dream of writing finds me staring wordless at the screen. All of the brilliant posts I craft during my commute, run, shower, or boring meetings … all of those words evaporate when I sit down at my desk and position my hands on the keyboard.

So in the rare moments I claim for non-work-computer-time I surf, reading the blogs of the truly brilliant, the witty, the articulate, the creative, the popular. And I shrink further inside myself. The snarky voice in my head that tells me I’m a fool feeds on my discontent and my fear. And I slink away.

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4 Responses to Confessions of a Workaholic

  1. Barbara says:

    Oh. Dear, Fran. I pray you will reverse the slink. But I feel like I understand, relate to you in that last paragraph. My near complete book proposal has been relegated to “the time is not right” – a veneer for ‘I could never write as well as those I read’.

  2. I feel the same way many days — good for you for at least being conscious of it, I tend to just go head down and push harder to get more done, which we all know is not the way to go.

    One step at a time!

  3. Roxy says:

    I, too, wish I could just write for a living. If I weren’t so afraid of not being able to earn enough, I’d go for it. I think that’s what holds a lot of people back.

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