Saturday after finishing an intense six day work week my cup was empty. It doesn’t matter that I love everything I am doing and get great pleasure in helping people. Empty is empty. When my cup gets completely empty I go to the dark side: Why am I working so hard with so little to show for it? I am peddling as fast as I can and feel like I am on a tightrope without a net. What if I get sick or injured? … and on an on. A good night’s sleep and a day ahead of self care and availability to the Divine is already filling my cup. I keep saying that life will find it’s balance once I pay off some debt, Barry’s schooling is finished, etc. But if I am honest, I have always been this way.
As a kid I always had a lot going on. I would finish a stent of being in the zone of playing to realize almost every toy was out. I hadn’t even been aware because I was so immersed in my activity and imagination. In elementary school I read a huge number of books during spring break to win the book reading competition. I wrote short stories and sold them for a quarter. In the summers I sought work constantly. I walked the corn fields and picked up ears of corn the combine missed and was paid by the farmer some paltry amount. I picked strawberries from our garden and called neighbors to see if they wanted to buy them (They always did. The strawberries were delicious.)
In high school I was in every club. In college every moment was scheduled practically. Despite having a full scholarship my first two years, I still worked a part time job. My last two years I also had a job and in the summer I had at least four! When I graduated, I always worked my “real” job and something on the side.
In grad school for occupational therapy I did not have a job due to the intensity of my program. And when I worked my first three years as an OT I did not have a second job. Although sometimes I felt bored, I took art classes and did some artistic renovations to my home during that time. Gradually as life evolved, I began juggling several jobs again due to life circumstances. I enjoyed a brief stent when I was only working at the studio, but divorce and the recession necessitated that I get full time work again and here I am again juggling 4 employers.
I enjoy working (apparently). I like being creative and productive. I have diverse interests. I have noted to myself that I just have a sincere interest in accomplishing way too many things. This year I have purposely scheduled in more vacation time. Under my current schedule, though, I have no paid vacation time so this always produces some anxiety. And to be honest, some of the vacation time is time away from hospital jobs only. I will still be working on studio stuff during that time. Sigh.
I find myself fantasizing (a lot) about simplifying, downsizing, winning the lottery, just letting go of some of my goals and aspirations, moving to another country, just moving to the country period (think tiny house in the woods), and so on. In the meantime, though, I eek out some self care, I take a day off here and there, I peck away at my debt, I breathe and stay present wherever I am, I fulfill my mission of loving people and being authentic, I listen to my intuition, I let creativity flow through me, I admit my foibles, I keep the Sabbath on Sundays (starting today), I try to get enough sleep, I try to get enough exercise, I work to drop my extra weight, I eat healthy, I treat my knee pain, back pain, hot flashes naturally, and I stay open to possibilities and change because I simply cannot get my head around giving up a single thing I am doing.